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A SELECT LIBRARY 



y' 



OF THE 



NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS 



OF 



THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 



EDITED BY 



PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LLD.. 



PROFESSOR IN THI-: UNI >N THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY. Xl 
IN CONNECTION WITH A NUMBER OF PATRISTIC SCHOLARS OF m?'*S .^VT *' 



VOLUME L 



THE CONFESSIONS AND LETTERf 

WITH A SKETCH OF HIS liF£ -^ 



lTTFB^ f-^ ^ Vvii^'fl* 



THE CHRisno .:^"2*'' ' 



i \ e 



ir 

iial 

itus 
ions 
con- 
ches, 
■gne. 
iogy, 
imes. 
New- 
^athoUc 
'ingUsh 
ated to 
-ided by 
oprietor, 
ere loyally 
of the 



LIBRARY OF THE 
LEUND STANFORD JR. mVEROIVf, 

Co. I :IGHT, 1886, BY , 

THE CHRISTIAN LITERATURE COMPANY. 

WAR^^O 1900 



r^ 



v/7'^/.5,'^3-/;>Z:>. 



PREFACE. 



Encouraged by the assured co-operation of competent Patristic scholars of Great Britain 
and the United States, I have undertaken the general editorship of a Select Library of the 
NicENE AND PosT-NicENE FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN Church. It is to embrace in about 
twenty-five large volumes the most important works of the Greek Fathers from Eusebius to Pho- 
tius, and of the Latin Fathers from Ambrose to Gregory the Great. 

The series o|)ens with St. Aiigustin, the greatest and most influential of tlic Christian 
Fathers. All Christian Churches are interested in hi^ writings, and most of all in his Confessions^ 
which are contained in this volume. They will be aowed by the works of St. Chrysostom, and 
the Church History of Kusebiiis. 

A few words are necessary to define the obj ^t of this Library, and its relation to similar 
collections. 

My purpose is to furnish ministers and intelligent laymen who have no access to the original 
texts, or are not sufficiently familiar with ecclesiastical Greek and Latin, with a complete apparatus 
for the study of ancient Christianity. Whatever may be the estimate we put upon the opinions 
of the Fathers, their historical value is beyond all dispute. They are to this day and will con- 
tinue to be the chief authorities for the doctrines ai)u usages of the Greek and Roman Churches, 
and the sources for the knowledge of ancient Christianity down to the age of Charlemagne. 
But very few can afford to buy, or are able to use such collections as Migne*s Greek Patrology, 
which embraces 167 quarto volumes, and Migne's Latin Patrology which embraces 222 volumes. 

The three leaders of the now historic Anglo-Catholic movement of Oxford, Drs. Pusey, New- 
man, and Keble, began, in 1837, the publication of ^'A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic 
Churchy anterior to the Division of the East and West, Translated by Members of the English 
Churchy' ^ Oxford (John Henry Parker) and London (J. G. F. & J. Rivington). It is dedicated to 
** William Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England.'* The editors were aided by 
a number of able classical and ecclesiastical scholars. Dr. Pusey, the chief editor and proprietor, 
and Dr. Keble died in the communion of the church of their fathers to which they were loyally 
attached ; Dr. Newman alone remains, though no more an Anglican, but a Cardinal of the 
Church of Rome. His connection with the enterprise ceased with his secession (1845). 

The Oxford Library was undertaken in full sympathy with patristic theolog}', and with an apolo- 
getic and dogmatic purpose. It was to furnish authentic proof for the su])pose(J or real agreement of 
the Anglo-Catholic school with the fiiith and practice of the ancient Church before the Greek schism. 
The selection was made accordingly. The series embraces 48 vols. It is very valuable as far as it 



VI PREFACE. 



goes, but incomplete and unequal. Volume followed volume as it happened to get ready. An 
undue proportion is given to exegetical works ; six volumes are taken up with Augustin*s Com- 
mentary on the Psalms, six with Gregory's Commentary on Job, sixteen with Commentaries of 
Chrysostom ; while many of the most important doctrinal, ethical, and historical works of the 
Fathers, as Eusebius, Basil, the two Gregorys, Theodoret, Maximus Confessor, John of Damas- 
cus, Hilary, Jerome, Leo the Great, were never reached. 

In 1866, Mr. T. Clark, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and an Elder in the Free Church of 
Scotland, who has done more than any publisher for the introduction of German and other for- 
eign theological literature to the English reading community, began to issue the valuable *^ Ante- 
Nicene Christian Library,'' edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts, D. D., and James Donaldson, 
LL. D., which was completed in 1872 in 24 volumes, and is now being republished, by arrange- 
ment with Mr. Clark, in America in 8 volumes under the editorship of Bishop A. Cleveland 
CoxE, D. D. (i 884-1 886). Mr. Clark, in 1871, undertook also the publication of %. translation 
of select vorks of St. Augustin under the editorial care of Rev. Marcus Dods, D. D., of Glas- 
gow, which was completed in 15 volumes. The projected translation of Chrysostom was 
abandoned from want of encouragement. 

Thus Episcoj)al divines of England, and Presbyterian divines of Scotland have prepared the 
way for our American enterprise, and made it possible. 

We must also briefly mention a similar collection which was prepared by Roman Catholic 
scholars of Germany in the interest of their Church, namely the Bibliothek der Kirchenvater, 
Auswahl der vorziigUchsten patristischen Werke in deutscher Uebersetzung, herausgegeben unter der 
Oberleitung von Dr. Valentin Thalhqfer {Domdekan und Prof, der JlieoL in Eichstdtt, formerly 
Professor in Munich). Kempten., Koselsche Buchhandlung. 1 869-1 886. Published in over 
400 small numbers, three or four of which make a volume. An alphabetical Index vol. is now 
in course of preparation by Ulrich Uhle (Nos. 405 sqq.). The series w^as begun in 1869 ^Y 
Dr. Fr. X. Reithmayr, Prof, of Theol. in Munich, who died in 1872. It embraces select 
writings of most of ihe Fathers. Seven volumes are devoted to Letters of the Popes from Linus 
to Pelagius II. (A. D. 67-590). 

**The Christian Literature Company,*' who republish Clark's "Ante-Nicene Library," asked 
me to undertake the editorship of a Nicene and Post-Nicene Library to complete the scheme. 
Satisfactory arrangements have been made with Mr. Clark and with Mr. Walter Smith, repre- 
senting Dr. Pusey's heirs, for the use of their translations, as far as our plan will permit. With- 
out such a preliminary arrangement I would not have considered the proposal for a moment. 

I have invited surviving authors of older translations to revise and edit their work for the 
American series, and I am happy to state that I received favorable replies. Some of them are 
among the list of contributors, others (including Cardinal Newman) have, at least, expressed a 
kindly interest in the enterprise, and wish it success. 

The Nicene and Post-Nicene Library will be more complete and more systematic as well as 
much cheaper than any which has yet appeared in the English language. By omitting the volu- 
minous Patristic commentaries on the Old Testament we shall gain room for more important and 
interesting works not embraced in the Oxford or Edinburgh series ; and by condensing three or 
more of these volumes into one, and counting upon a large number of subscribers, the publishers 



PREFACE. 



Vll 



think themselves justified in offering the Library on terms which are exceedingly liberal, consid- 
ering the great expense and risk. It will be published in the same handsome style and at the 
same price per volume (J3) as their Ante-Nicene Library. 

For further particulars, I beg leave to refer the reader to the prospectus which is annexed to 
this volume. 

May the blessing of the Great Head of the Church accompany and crown this work. 



PHILIP SCHAFF. 



New York, October^ 1886. 



AUTHORIZATION OF MESSRS. T. & T. CLARK. 





ip-^Z>^L^«r^^^g^ 





%e)i 



4^^if 




» W|L J 



AUTHORIZATION OF MR. WALTER SMITH. 



. 34. KING STREET. 

COVENT GARDEN. 
LONDON, 










CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

I. PROLEGOMENA : St. Augustin's Life and Work. 

By Philip Schaff, D. D 1-27 

Chapter L — Literature i 

Chapter IL — Sketch of the Life of St. Augustin 5 

Chapter II L — Estimate of St. Augustin 9 

Chapter IV. — Writings of St. Augustin 12 

Chapter V. — The Influence of St. Augustin upon Posterity and his Relation 

TO Catholicism and Protestantism 12 

Chief Events in the Life of St. Augustin 25 

II. THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN : 

Translated by J. G. Pilkington, M. A 27 

Translator's Preface 29 

St. Augustin's Opinion on his Confessions ^« 

The Confessions 4^ 

III. THE LETTERS OF ST. AUGUSTIN : 

Translated by J. G. Cunningham, M. A 209 

Translator's Preface 211 

The Letters 219 

ix 



PROLEGOMENA. 



ST. AUGUSTIN'S LIFE AND WORK. 

FROM SCHAFFS CHURCH HISTORY, REVISED EDITION. 
New York 1884. Vol. III. 988-1028. 

Revised and enlarged with additions to literature till 1886. 

CHAPTER I.— Literature. 

I. SOURCES. 

AucusTiN*s Works. S. Aureui Augustint HipponensU episcopi Opera . . . Post Lovaniensium theolth 
orum recenstonem [which appeared at Antwerp in 1577 in 1 1 vols.], cetstigatus [referring to tomus primus, etc.] 
m%tc etd MSS. codd, Gallicanos, etc. Optra et studio monachorum ordinis S, Benedicti e congregatione S. Mauri 
Ft. Delfau, Th. Blampin, P. Coustant, and Q. Guesni^]. Paris, 1679-1700, II torn, in 8 fol. vols. Tlie same 
dition reprinted, with additions, at Antwerp, 1 700-1 703, 12 parts in 9 fol.; and at Venice, 1 729-' 34, in 1 1 tom. in 
foL (this edition is not to be confounded with another Venice edition of 1 756-' 69 in 18 vols. 4to, which is full 
f printing errors); also at Bassano, 1807, in 18 vols.; by Gaume fratres^ Paris, i836-'39, in 1 1 tom. in 22 parts 
1 very elegant edition); and lastly byy. P, Migne^ Petit- Montrouge, 1841-49, in 12. tom. ("Patrol. Lat." tom. 
xxii.-xlvii.). Migne^s edition gives, in a supplementary volume (tom. xii.), the valuable Notitia literaria de vita, 
rriptis et editionibus Aug. from SchOnemann's " Bibliotheca historico-literaria Patrum Lat." vol. ii. Lips. 1794, 
le Vindicia Attgustiniance of Cardinal NoRis (NoRlsius), and the writings of Augustin first published by Fontanini 
od Angelo Mai. So far the most complete and convenient edition. 

But a thoroughly reliable critical edition of Augustin is still a desideratum and will be issued before long by a 
umber of scholars under the direction of the Imperial Academy of Vienna in the " Corpus Scriptorum ecclesiasti- 
arum Latinorum." 

On the controversies relating to the merits of the Bened. edition, which was sharply criticized by Richard Simon, 
nd the Jesuits, but is still the best and defended by the Benedictines, see the supplementary volume of Migne, 
ii. p. 40 sqq., and Thuillier : Histoire de la nouvelle id. de S. Aug. par les PP. Binidictins, Par. 1736. 

The first printed edition of Augustin appeared at Basle, i489-'95 ; another, in 1509, in 11 vols. ; then the edition 
f Erasmus published by Frobenius, Bas. 1528-^29, in 10 vols., fol. ; the Editio Lovaniensis, of sixteen divines of 
x>uvain, Antw. 1577, in ii vols, and often reprinted at Paris, Geneva, and Cologne. 

Several works of Augustin have been often separately edited, especially the Confessions and the City of God. 
x>mpare a full list of the editions down to 1794 in SchOnemann's Bibliotheca, vol. ii. p. 73 sqq.; for later editions 
ee Brl-net, Manuel du libraire, Paris i860, tom. I. vol. 557-567. Since then William Bright (Prof, of 
xrclesiast. Hist at Oxford) has published the Latin text of Select Anti- Pelagian Treatises of St. Aug. and the Acts 
f the Second Council of Orange. Oxford (Clarendon Press) 1880. With invaluable Introduction of 68 pages. 

English translations of select works of Augustin are found in the " Oxford Library of the Fathers," ed. by Drs. 
hisey, Keble, and Newman, viz. : The Confessions, vol. i., 1838, 4th ed., 1853; Sermons on the N. T., vol. xvi., 
844, and vol. xx. 1845 J Short Treatises, vol. xxii., 1847 ; Exposition of the Psalms, vols, xxiv., xxv., xxx., xxxii., 
xxvii., xxxix., 1847, 1849, 1850, 1853, 1854; Homilies on John, vols. xxvi. and xxix., 1848 and 1849. Another 
nanslation by Marcus Dods and others, Edinb. (T. & T. Clark), 1871-76, 15 vols., containing the City of God, the 
Xnti'Donatist, the Anti- Pelagian, the Anti-Manichaean writings. Letters, On the Trinity, On Christian Doctrine, 
\e Euchiridion, On Catechising, On Faith and the Creed, Commentaries on the Sermon on the Mount, and the 
farmony of the Gospels, Lectures on John, and Confessions. There are several separate translations and editions of 
le Confessions : the first by Sir Tobias Matthews (a Roman Catholic), 1624, said, by Dr. Pusey, to be very inaccurate 

X 



PROLEGOMENA. 



and subservient to Romanism ; a second by Rev. W. Watts, D. D., 1631, 1650 ; a third by Abr. Woodhead (only 
the first 9 books). Dr. Pusey, in the first vol. of the Oxford Library of the Fathers, 1838 (new ed. 1883), republished 
the translation of Watts, with improvements and explanatory notes, mostly borrowed from Dubois's Latin ed. Dr. 
Shedd's edition, Andover, i860, is a reprint of Watts (as republished in Boston in 1843), preceded by a thoughtful 
introduction, pp. v.-xxxvi. H. de Romestin translated minor doctrinal tracts in Saint Augustin. Oxford 1885. 

German translations of select writings of Aug. in the Kempten Bibliothek der Kirckenv&tery 1871-79, 8 vols. 
There are also separate translations and editions of the Confessions (by Silbert, 5th ed., Vienna, 1861 ; by Kautz, 
Amsberg, 1840; by GrSninger, 4th ed., Milnster, 1859; by Wilden, Schaffhausen, 1865; by Rapp, 7th ed., Gotha, 
1878), of the Enchiridion^ the Meditations^ and the City of God (Die Stadt GotteSy by Silbert, Vienna, 1 827, 2 vols.). 

French translations : Les Confess ions ^hy Dubois, Paris, 1688, 1715, 1758, 1776, and by Janet, Paris, 1 85 7; anew 
translation with a preface by Abb6 de la Mennais, Paris, 1822, 2 vols. ; another by L. Moreau, Paris, 1854. La 
Citi de Dieii, by Emile Saisset, Paris, 1855, wit A introd. and notes, 4 vols.; older translations by Raoul de Prsesles, 
Abbeville, i486; Savetier, Par. 1531 ; P. Lombcrt, Par. 1675, and 1 701 ; Abb^ Goujet, Par. 1736 and 1764, re- 
printed at Bourges 181 8; L. Moreau, with the Latin text. Par. 1846, 3 vols. Les Soliioques, by P^lissier, Paiis, 
1853. Les Lettres, by Poujoulat, Paris, 1858, 4 vols. Le Manuel^ by d'Avenel, Rennes, 1861. 

II. BIOGRAPHIES. 

PossiDius (Calamcnsis episcopus, a pupil and friend of Aug.) : Vita Au^ustini (brief, but authentic, written 432, 
two years after his death, in tom. x. Append. 257-280, ed. Bened., and in nearly all other editions). 

Benedictini Editores : Vita Aui^stini ex ejus potissimum scriptis concinnata^ in 8 books (very elaborate and 
extensive), in tom. xi. 1-492, ed. Bened. (in Migne's reprint, tom. i. col. 66-578). 

The biographies of Aug. by Tillemont {Mkm. tom. xiii.) ; Ellies Dupin (in " Nouvelle bibliothdque des auteurs 
ecclteiastiques," tom. ii. and iii.) ; P. Bayle (in his " Dictionnaire historique et critique," art. Augustin); Remi 
Crillier (in " Histoire g6n6rale des auteurs sacr6s et ecclte.," vol. xi. and xii.) ; Cave (in *' Lives of the Fathers,*' 
vol. ii.); Kloth {Der heil Aug., Aachen, 1840, 2 vols.); B^^H ringer {Kirchengeschichte in Biographien^ vol. i. 
P. iii. p. 99 sqq., revised ed. Leipzig, 1877-78, 2 parts) ; Poujoulat (Histoire de S. Aug. Par. 1843 ^"^d 1852, 2 
vols.; the same in German by />. Ilurter^ Schaffh. 1847, 2 vols.); Eisendarth (Stuttg. 1853) ; C. BindemanN 
(Der heil. Aug. Berlin, 1844, '55, '69, 3 vols., the best work in German) ; Enw. L. Cutts (.S^. Augustin^ London, 
1880) ; E. de PRESSENsfe (in Smith and Wace, " Dictionary of Christ. Biogr." I. 216-225) J P"- Schaff (St, Augus- 
tiHf Berlin, 1854; English ed. New York and London, 1854, revised and enlarged in St. Augustin, Melanchthon 
and Meander; three biographies. New York, and London, 1886, pp. I-106). On Monnica see Braune: Monnica 
und Augustin. Grimma, 1846. 

III. SPECIAL TREATISES ON THE SYSTEM OF AUGUSTIN. 

(i) The Theology of Augustin. The Church Histories of Neander, Baur, Hase (his large work, 1885, vol. I. 
514 sqq.), and the Doctrine Histories of Neander, Gieseler, Baur, Hagenbach, Shedd, Nitzsch, Schwane, 
Bach, Harnack (in preparation, firet vol., 1886). 

The voluminous literature on the Pelagian controversy embraces works of G. J. Voss, Garnier, Jansen (died 
1638; AugustinuSf 1 640, 3 vols.; he read Aug. twenty times and revived his system in the R. Cath. Church, but 
was condemned by the Pope), Cardinal NoRis (Historia Pclagiana, Florence, 1673), Walch (Kctzergcschichte, 
vols. IV. and V., 1768 and 1770), Wiggers (Augustinismus und Pelagianismus, 1821 and 1833), Bersot (Doctr. de 
St, Aug. sur la liberty et la Providence, Paris, 1843), Jacobi (Lehre des Pelagius, 1842), Jul. Mt?LLER (Lehre von 
der Siinde, 5lh ed. 1866, Engl, transl. by Urwick, 1868), MozLEY (Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination, London, 
1855, very able), W. Bright (Introduction to his ed. of the Anti-Pelag. writings of Aug. Oxford 1880), and others. 
See Schaff, vol. HL 783-785. 

Van Goens : De Aur, August, apologeta, sec, I, de Cizntate Dei, Amstcl. 1 838. 

NiRSCHL (Rom. Cath.). Ursprung utui Wesen des Bdsen nach der Lehre des heil. Augustin. 1854. 

F. RiBRECK : Donatus und Augustinus, oder der erste entscheidende Kampf mvischen Separatismus und Ktr^him 
Kberfeld, 1858, 2 vols. 

Fr. Nitzsch : Augustinus Lehre vom Wunder. Berlin, 1865. 

Gangauf : Des heil. August. Lehre von Gott dent dreieinigen. Augsburg, 1 866. Emil Feuerlein : Ueherdie 
Stellung Augusfin's in der Kirchtn = und Kulturgeschichte, in Sybcl's " Histor. Zeitschrift " for 1869, vol. XI. 
270-313. Navillk: Saint Augustin, Etude sur le diveloppement de sa pensh. Geneve, 1872. Ernst : Die 
Werke und Tugenden der Ungldubigen nach Augustin. Freiburg, 1 872. Aug. Dorner (son of Is. A. D.) : Augus- 
tinus, sein theol. System und seine religionsphilosophische Anschauung. Berlin, 1 873 (comp. his art. in Herzog's 
" Encycl." 2d ed. I. 781-795, abridged in Schaff-Herzog L 174 sqq.). Ch. H. Collett: St. Aug., a Sketch of 
his Life and Writings as qfecting the controversy with Pome, London, 1 883. H. Reuter (Prof, of Church 



PROLEGOMENA. 



History in Gdttingen) : Augmtinische Studlen, in Brieger's ** Zeitschrift fiir Kirchengeschichte," for i88c)-'86 (sev- 
eral articles on Aug.'s doctrine of the church, of predestination, the kingdom of God, etc., publ. in one vol. 1887). 

(2) The Philosophy of Augustin is discussed in the larger Histories of Philosophy by Brucker, Tennemann, 
RlXNER, H. RiTTER (vol. vi. pp. 1 53-443), Erdmann {Grundriss der Gesch. der Philos. I. 231 sqq.), Ueberweg 
{^Hist, of Philos., transl. by Morris, New York, vol. I. 333-346); Prantl {Geschichle der Logik im Abendlande, 
Leipzig, 1853, 1. 665-672) ; Huber {Philosophieder Kirchenv&ter, Miinchen, 1859), and in the following special works : 

Theod. Gangauf : Metaphysische Psychologic des heil, Augmtinus. iste Abtheilung, Augsburg, 1852. T. 
THfeRY : Le ghnie philosophique et littiraire de saint Augustin, Par. 1 86 1. Abb6 Flottes : Etudes sur saint Aug., 
son ginie, son itme, sa philosophic. Montp^Uier, 1861. NOURRISSON : La philosophic de saint Augustin (ouvrage 
couronni par Plnstitut de France), deuxi^me 6d. Par. 1866, 2 vols. Reinkens : Geschichtsphilosophie des Aug, 
Schaffhausen, 1866. Ferraz: De la psychologic de S. Augustin, 2d ed. Paris, 1 869. SchOtz: Augustinum non 
esse ontologum, Monast. 1867. A. F. Hewitt : The Problems of the Age, with Studies in St. Augustin. New 
York, 1868. G. Loesche: De Augtistino Plotinizante, Jenac, 1 880 (68 pages). 

(3) On Aug. as a Latin author see Bahr : Geschichte der rom Literatur, Suppl. 11. Ebert : Geschichte der 
latein. Literatur (Leipzig, 1874, L 203 sqq.). Villemain : Tableau de Piloquence chritienm au IF* siicle (Paris, 

1&49). 

CHAPTER W.—A Sketch of the Life of St. Augustin, 

It is a venturesome and delicate undertaking to write one's own life, even though that life be 
a masterpiece of nature and the grace of God, and therefore most worthy to be described. Of 
all autobiographies none has so happily avoided the reef of vanity and self-praise, and none has 
won so much esteem and love through its honesty and humility as that of St. Augustin. 

The ** Confessions,'* which he wrote in the forty-fourth year of his life, still burning in the 
ardor of his first love, are full of the fire and unction of the Holy Spirit. They are a sublime 
composition, in which Augustin, like David in the fifty-first Psalm, confesses to God, in view of 
his own and of succeeding generations, without reserve the sins of his youth ; and they are at 
the same time a hymn of praise to the grace of God, which led him out of darkness into light, 
and called him to service in the kingdom of Christ.* Here we see the great church teacher of 
all times " prostrate in the dust, conversing with God, basking in his love ; his readers hovering 
before him only as a shadow." He puts away from himself all honor, all greatness, all merit, 
and lays them grateftilly at the feet of the All-merciful. The reader feels on every hand that 
Christianity is no dream nor illusion, but truth and life^and he is carried along in adoration of 
the wonderftil grace of God. 

AuRELius AuGUSTiNUS, bom on the 13th of November, 354,' at Tagaste, an unimportant 
village of the fertile province of Numidia in North Africa, not far from Hippo Regius, inherited 
from his heathen father, Patricius,' a passionate sensibility, from his Christian mother, Monnica 
(one of the noblest women in the history of Christianity, of a highly intellectual and spiritual 
cast, of fervent piety, most tender affection, and all-conquering love), the deep yearning towards 
God so grandly expressed in his sentence : ** Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart iA/ 
restless till it rests in Thee." * This yearning, and his reverence for the sweet and holy name of 
Jesus, though crowded into the background, attended him in his studies at the schools of 
Madaura and Cartilage, on his journeys to Rome and Milan, and on his tedious wanderings 
through the labyrinth of carnal pleasures, Manichaean mock-wisdom. Academic skepticism, and 
Platonic idealism ; till at last the prayers of his mother, the sermons of Ambrose, the biography 
' -1 

1 Augustin himself says of his Con/eision* : ** Canfessionum mearum tibri tredecim et de maits et de bonis nteis Deum laudant 
juttum et bonum^ atque in eum excitant humanum intellectum et affectum." Retract. L ii. c. 6. He refers to his Co^/essions also 
m his E^ittotaad Dariuntf Ep. CCXXXI. cap. 5 ; and in his De done per severantiae, cap. 20 (53). 

s He died, according to the Chronicle of his friend and pupil Prosper Aquitanus, the 28th of August, 430 (in the third month of the 
liege of Hippo by the Vandab) ; according to his biographer Possidius he lived seventy-six years. The day of his birth Augustin 
states himself, De vita beaia, \ 6 (tom. i. 300) : " Idiius Novembris miki natalis dies erat," 

*He received baptism shortly before his death. 

^CooC i. X : " Fecistimfs ad 7>, */ inquittum est cor nostrum^ donee requiescat in Te." In all his aberrations, which we would 
budly know, if it were not from his own free confession, he never sunk to anything mean, but remained, like Paul in his Jewish 
fanaticism, a noble intellect and ah honorable character, with burning love for the true and the good. 



PROLEGOMENA. 



of St. Anthony, and, above all, the Epistles of Paul, as so many instruments in the hand of the 
Holy Spirit, wrought in the man of three and thirty years that wonderful change which made 
him an incalculable blessing to the whole Christian world, and brought even the sins and errors 
of his youth into the service of the truth.* 

A son of so many prayers and tears could not be lost, and the faithful mother who travailed 
with him in spirit with greater pain than her body had in bringing him into the world,* was 
permitted, for the encouragement of future mothers, to receive shortly before her death an answer 
to her prayers and expectations, and was able to leave this world with joy without revisiting her 
earthly home. For Monnica died on a homeward journey, in Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber, 
in her fifty-sixth year, in the arms of her son, after enjoying with him a glorious conversation 
that soared above the confines of space and time, and was a foretaste of the eternal Sabbath-rest 
of the saints. If those moments, he says, could be prolonged for ever, they would more than 
suffice for his hap^nness in heaven. She regretted not to die in a foreign land, because she was 
not far from God, who would raise her up at the last day. **Bury my body anywhere," was 
her last request, ** and trouble not yourselves for it ; only this one thing I ask, that you 
remember me at the altar of my God, wherever you may be.**' Augustin, in his Confessions^ 
has erected to Monnica a noble monument that can never perish. 

If ever there was a thorough and fruitful conversion, next to that of Paul on the way to 
Damascus, it was that of Augustin, when, in a garden of the Villa Cassiciacum, not far fronx 
Milan, in September of the year 386, amidst the most violent struggles of mind and heart — the 
birth-throes of the new life — he heard that divine voice of a child: "Take, read!** and he 
"put on the Lord Jesus Christ'* (Rom. xiii. 14). It is a touching lamentation of his :r" I 
have loved Thee late. Thou Beauty, so old and so new ; I have loved Thee late ! And lo ! 
Thou wast within, but I was without, and was seeking Thee there. . And into Thy fair creation I 
plunged myself in my ugliness ; for Thou wast with me, and I was not with Thee !) Those 
things kept me away from Thee, which had not been, except they had been in Thee ! Thou 
didst call, and didst cry aloud, and break through my deafness. Thou didst glimmer. Thou 
didst shine, and didst drive away my blindness. Thou didst breathe, and I drew breath, and 
breathed in Thee. I tasted Thee, and I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I bum 
for Thy peace. If I, with all that is within me, may once live in Thee, then shall pain and 
trouble forsake me ; entirely filled with Thee, all shall be life to me.*' 

He received baptism from Ambrose in Milan on Easter Sunday, 387, in company with his 
friend and fellow-convert Alypius, and his natural son Adeodatus {given by God). It impressed 
the divine seal upon the inward transformation. He broke radically with the world ; abandoned 
the brilliant and lucrative vocation of a teacher of rhetoric, which he had followed in Rome and 
Milan; sold his goods for the benefit of the poor; and thenceforth devoted his rare gifts 
exclusively to the service of Christ, and to that service he continued faithful to his latest breath. 
After the death of his mother, whom he revered and loved with the most tender affection, he 
went a second time to Rome for several months, and wrote books in defence of true Christianity 
against false philosophy and against the Manichaean heresy. Returning to Africa, he spent 
three years, with his friends Alypius and Evodius, on an estate in his native Tagaste, in contem* 
plative and literary retirement. 

Then, in 391, he was chosen presbyter against his will, by the voice of the people, which, as 



I For particulars respecting the course of Augustin's life, see my work above cited, and other monographs. Comp. also the fine 
remarks of Dr. Baur in his posthumous Lectures on Doctrine- History (1866), vol. i. Part ii. p. 26 sqq. He compares the developmeat 
of Augustin with the course of Christianity from the beginning to his time, aud draws a parallel between Augustin and Origen. 

* Conf. ix c. 8 : *' Qua me parturivit et came, nt in kanc temporalem, et corde, ut in aternam lucem nascerer." L. v. 9 : " ASmi 
enim satis eloquor, quid erga me habebat animi, et quanta maj'ore soUicitudine me pariuriehat s/>iritu, quam came peperer^mtm** 
In Dc dono per sett. c. 20, he ascribes his conversion under God " to the faithful and daily tears" of his mother. 

*Conf. 1. ix. c. II : " Tantum illud vos rogo. ut ad Domini aitare memineritis mei, ubi/ueritis." This must be explained tmm 
the already prevailing custom of offering prayers for the dead, which, however, had rather the form of thanksgiving for the mercy oC 
God shown to them, than the later form of intercession for them. * 



PROLEGOMENA. 



j in the similar cases of Cyprian and Ambrose, proved to be the voice of God, in the Numidian 
' maritime city of Hippo Regius (now Bona) ; and in 395 he was elected bishop in the same city. 
For eight and thirty years, until his death, he labored in this place, and made it the intellectual 
• centre of Western Christendom.^ 

His outward mode of life was extremely simple, and mildly ascetic. He lived with his clergy 
in one house in an apostolic community of goods, and made this house a seminary of theology, 
out of which ten bishops and many lower clergy went forth. Females, even his sister, were 
excluded from his house, and could see him only in the presence of others. But he founded 
religious societies of women ; and over one of these his sister, a saintly widow, presided.' He 
once said in a sermon, that he had nowhere found better men, and he had nowhere found worse, 
than in monasteries. Combining, as he did, the clerical life with the monastic, he became 
tmwittingly the founder of the Augustinian order, which gave the reformer Luther to the world. 
He wore the black dress of the Eastern coenobites, with a cowl and a leathern girdle. He lived 
almost entirely on vegetables, and seasoned the common meal with reading or free conversation, 
in which it was a rule that the character of an absent person should never be touched. He had 
dus couplet engraved on the table : 

** Quisquis amat dictis absentum rodere vi/am, 
Htxnc mensam vetitam noverit esse sibi" 

He often preached five days in succession, sometimes twice a day, and set it as the object of 
his preaching, that all might live with him, and he with all, in Christ. Wherever he went in 
Afiica, he was begged to preach the word of salvation.' He faithfully administered the external 
affairs connected with his office, though he found his chief delight in comtemplation. He was 
specially devoted to the poor, and, like Ambrose, upon exigency, caused the church vessels to be 
melted down to redeem prisoners. But he refused legacies by which injustice was done to 
natural heirs, and commended the bishop Aurelius of Carthage for giving back unasked some 
property which a man had bequeathed to the church, when his wife unexpectedly bore him 
children. 

Augustin's labors extended far beyond his little diocese. He was the intellectual head of the 
North African and the entire Western church of his time. He took active interest in all theo- 
logical and ecclesiastical questions. He was the champion of the orthodox doctrine against 
Manichaean, Donatist, and Pelagian. In him was concentrated the whole polemic power of the 
catholic church of the time against heresy and schism ; and in him it won the victory over them. 

In his last years he took a critical review of his literary productions, and gave them a thorough 
sifting in his Retractations. His latest controversial works, against the Semi-Pelagians, written 
in a gentle spirit, date from the same period. He bore the duties of his office alone till his 
seventy-second year, when his people unanimously elected his friend Heraclius to be his assistant. 

The evening of his life was troubled by increasing infirmities of body and by the unspeakable 
wretchedness which the barbarian Vandals spread over his country in their victorious invasion, 

1 He is still known among the inhabitants of the place as " the great Christian " (Rumi Kebir). Gibbon (ch. xxxiii. ad ann. 430) 
thus describes the place which became so famous through Augustin : " The maritime colony of Hippo, about two hundred miles west- 
ward of Carthage, had formerly acquired the distinguishing epithet of Regius, from the residence of the Numidian kings ; and some 
rcnaains of tnule and populousness still adhere to the modem city, which is known in Europe by the corrupted name of Bona." Sal- 
htst mentions Hippo once in his history of the Jugurthine War. A part of the wealth with which Sallust built and beautified his 
splendid mansion and gardens in Rome, was extorted from this and other towns of North Africa while governor of Numidia. Since 
the French conquest of Algiers Hippo Regius was rebuilt under the name of Bona and is now one of the finest towns in North Africa, 
Oiuubering over lojcxo inhabitants, French, Moors, and Jews. 

* He mentions a sister, ** soror mea, xancta prop'oiita " [monasterit], without naming her, Epitt. an, n. 4 (ed. Bened.), alias Ep. 
109. He also had a brother by the name of Navij^ius. 

• Possidius says, in hb Vita Aug. : " C^terum episcopatu suscepto ntulto instantius ac ferventius, ntajpre auctoritate, non in una 
tsntum regioM€f sed ubicunqne rogatut venisset^ verbum stUutis aiacriter, etc suaviter puUulante atqut crescente Domini ecclesia, 
pradicavit." 



PROLEGOMENA. 



destroying cities, villages, and churches, without mercy, and even besieging the fortified city of 
Hippo.^ Yet he faithfully persevered in his work. The last ten days of his iif<? he spent in close 
retirement, in prayers and tears and repeated reading of the penitential Psalms, which he had 
caused to be written on the wall over his bed, that he might have them always before his eyes. 
Thus with an act of penitence he closed his life. In the midst of the terrors of the siege and 
the despair of his people he could not suspect what abundant seed he had sown for the future. 

In the third month of the siege of Hippo, on the 28th of August, 430, in the seventy-sixth 
year of his age, in full possession of his faculties, and in the presence of many friends and 
pupils, he past gently and peacefully into that eternity to which he had so long aspired. ** O 
how wonderful," wrote he in his Meditations^ **how beautifiil and lovely are the dwellings of 
Thy house. Almighty God ! I burn with longing to behold Thy beauty in Thy bridal-chamber. 
. . . O Jerusalem, holy city of God, dear bride of Christ, my heart loves thee, my soul has 
already long sighed for thy beauty ! . . . The King of kings Himself is in the midst of 
thee, and His children are within thy walls. There are the hymning choirs of angels, the 
fellowship of heavenly citizens. There is the wedding-feast of all who from this sad earthly 
pilgrimage have reached thy joys. There is the far-seeing choir of the prophets ; there the 
company of the twelve apostles ; there the triumphant army of innumerable martyrs and holy 
confessors. Full and perfect love there reigns, for God is all in alL They love and praise, they 
praise and love Him evermore. . . . Blessed, perfectly and forever blessed, shall I too be, if, 
when my poor body shall be dissolved, ... I may stand before my King and God, and 
see Him in His glory, as He Himself hath deigned to promise : * Father, I will that they also 
whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am ; that they may behold My glory which I had 
with Thee before 'the world was.* " This aspiration after the heavenly Jerusalem found grand 
expression in the hymn De gloria et gaudiis Paradisi : 

** Ad perennis vita fontefn mens sativit aridaP 

It is incorporated in the Meditations of Augustin, and the ideas originated in part with him, but 
were not brought into poetical form till long afterwards by Peter Damiani.' 

He left no will, for in his voluntary poverty he had no earthly property to dispose of, except 
his library ; this he bequeathed to the church, and it was fortunately preserved from the depre- 
dations of the Arian barbarians.* 

Soon after his death Hippo was taken and destroyed by the Vandals.* Africa was lost to the 
Romans. A few decades later the whole West-Roman empire fell in niins. The culmination of 
the African church was the beginning of its decline. But the work of Augustin could not perish. 
His ideas fell like living seed into the soil of Europe, and produced abundant fruits in nations 
and countries of which he had never heard.' 



I Possidius, c. 28, gives a vivid picture of the ravages of the Vandals, which have become proverbial. Cotnp. also Gibbon, ch. xxxiii. 

* I freely combine several passages. 

*Comp. Opera, torn. vi. p. 117 (Append.) ; Daniel: Thesaurus hymnol. i. 116 sqq., and iv. 203 sq., and Mone : Lat. Hyntner, i. 
423 sqq., Mone ascribes the poem to an unknown writer of the sixth century, but Trench {Sacred Latin Poetry, 2d cd., 315) and others 
attribute it lo Cardinal Peter Damiani, the friend of Pope Hildebrand (d. 1072). Augustin wrote his poetry in prose. 

* Possidius says, Vita, c. 31 : " Testamentum nullum fecit, quia untie /aceret , fau^er Dei non hai»uit. Ecclesia: bibliothecam 
omnesque codices diligenter posteris custodiendos semper jubebat." 

6 The inhabitants escaped to the sea. There appears no bishop of Hippo after Augustin. In the seventh century the old city was 
utterly destroyed by the Arabians, but two miles from it Bona was built of its ruins. Comp. Tillemont, xiii. 945, and Gibbon, ch. 
xxxiii. Gibbon says, that Bona, " in the sixteenth century, contained about three hundred families of industrious, but turbulent 
manufacturers. The adjacent tcrrilorj' is renowned for a pure air, a fertile soil, and plenty of exquisite fruiti,." Since the French 
comiuest of Algiers, Bona was rebuilt in 1832, and is gradually assuming a French aspect. It is now one of the finest towns in 
Algeria, the key to the pnjvince of Constantine, has a i)ublic garden, several schools, considerable c«»mmcrce, and a pfpulaiion of 
over ten thousand of French, Moors, and Jews, the great majority of whom are foreigners. The relics of St. Augustin have been 
recently transferretl from Pavia to Bona. See the letters of abbe Sibour to Poujoulat sur la translation de la relique de saint 
Aug^ustin de Pa'.'ie a Hippone, in Poujoilat's Histoire de saint Augustin, torn. i. p. 413 sqq. 

* Even in Africa Augustin's spirit reappeared from time to lime notwithstanding the barbarian confusion, as u light in darkness, first 
in ViciLius, bishop of Thapsus, who, at the close of the fifth century, ably defended the orthodox doctrine of the Trniity and the 
person of Christ, and to whom the authorship of the so-called Athanasian Creed has sometimes been ascribed ; in Filgkntius, 



PROLEGOMENA. 



CHAPTER III.— Estimate of St. Augustin. 

Augustin, the man with upturned eye, with pen in the left hand, and a burning heart in the 
right (as he is usually represented), is a philosophicar and theological genius of the first order, 
towering like a pyramid above his age, and looking down commandingly upon succeeding 
centuries. He had a mind uncommonly fertile and deep, bold and soaring ; and with it, what 
is better, a heart full of Christian love and humility. He stands of right by the side of the 
greatest philosophers of antiquity and of modem times. We meet him alike on the broad 
highways and the narrow footpaths, on the giddy Alpine heights and in the awful depths of 
speculation, wherever philosophical thinkers before him or after him have trod. As a theologian 
he \& facile princepsy at least surpassed by no church father, schoolman, or reformer. With royal 
munificence he scattered ideas in passing, which have set in mighty motion other lands and later 
times. He combined the creative power of TertuUian with the churchly spirit of Cyprian, the 
speculative intellect of the Greek church with the practical tact of the Latin. He was a 
Christian philosopher and a philosophical theologian to the full. It was his need and his delight 
to wrestle again and again with the hardest problems of thought, and to comprehend to the utmost 
the divinely revealed matter of the faith.* He always asserted, indeed, the primacy of faith, 
according to his maxim: Fides prcec edit intellectum ; appealing, with theologians before him, to 
the well known passage of Isaiah vii. 9 (in the LXX.) : ^^ Nisi credideritis, non intelligetisJ'^ ^ r\ 
But to him faith itself was an acting of reason, and from faith to knowledge, therefore, there 
was a necessary transition.' He constantly looked below the surface to the hidden motives of 
actions and to the universal laws of diverse events. The Metaphysician and the Christian 
believer coalesced in him. His meditatio passes with the utmost ease into oratio, and his oratio 
into meditatio. With profundity he combined an equal clearness and sharpness of thought. 
He was an extremely skilful and a successful dialectician, inexhaustible in arguments and in 
answers to the objections of his adversaries. 

He has enriched Latin literature with a greater store of beautiful, original, and pregnant 
proverbial sayings, than any classic author, or any other teacher of the church.* 

bishop of Ruspc, one of the chief opponents of Semi- Pelagian ism, and the later Arianism, who with sixty catholic bishopa of Africa 
was banished for several years by the Azian Vandals to the island of Sardinia, and w^ho was called the Augustin of the sixth century 
(died 533) : and in Facundus of Hbrmianb (died 570), and FuLGBimus Fbrkandus, and Libbratus, two deacons of Carthage, who 
took a prominent part in the Three Chapter controversy. 

' Or, as he wrote to a friend about the year 410, Epist. 120, c. 1, J 2 (torn. ii. p. 347, ed. Bened. Venet. ; in older ed., Ep. 122) : " Ut 
fU0d credit tHtelligas . . . non ut /idem respuiu, sed ea quet /idei /irmitate jam tenes, etiam rationis luce conspicias." He 
continues, ibid. c. 3 : "Absit namque^ ut hvc in nobis Deus oderit, in quo nos reiiquis animalibus excelUntiores creavit. Absit, 
iftquum, ut ideo credamus, ne rationcm accipiamus vel qu<eramus : cunt etiam credere non possemus, nisi rationales animas kaber^ 
emus*' In one of his earliest works, Contra Academ. 1. iii. c. 20, § 43, he says of himself : " Ita sum ajff'ectus, ut quid sit verum non 
credendo solum, sed etiam inielligendo apprehetidere impatienter desiderem." 

•'Ear ii.Tii VKtrrtvmtTt^ ouW ft.r\ <rvK^Te. But the proper translation of the Hebrew is : "If ye will not believe [in me, ^3 for '3], 
sorely ye shall not be established (or, not remain)/' 

•Comp. Deprad, sand. cap. 2, g 5 (tom. x. p. 792) : ** Ipsum credere nihil aliud est quant cum assensione cogitare. Non enim 
omnis qui cogitat, credit, cum ideo cogitant, pierique ne credant ; sed cogitat omnis qui credit, et credendo cogitat et cogitando 
credit. Fides si non cogitetur, nulla est." Ep. 120, cap. 1,83 (tom. ii. 347), and Ep. 137, c. 4,^ 15 (lorn. ii. 408) : " Intellectui fides 
aditum aperit, infidelitas claudit.'* Augustin's view of faith and knowledge is discussed at large by Gangauf, Mctaphysische Psy- 
ckdogie des keil. Augustinus, i, pp. 31-76, and by Noukrisson, I^ philosophie de saint Augustin, tom. ii. 282-290. 

♦ Prosper Aquitanus collected in the year 450 or 451 from the works of Augustin 392 sentences (see the Appendix to the tenth vol. 
of the Bened. ed, p. 223 sqq., and in Mignc's cd. of Prosper Aquitanus, col. 427-496), with reference to theological purport and the 
Pdagian controversies. We recall some of the best which he has omitted : 

" Nozmm Testamentum in V'etere latet, Vet us in Novo patet.'* 

" Distingue tempora, et concordabit Scriptura." 

" Cor nostrum inquietum est, donee requiescat in Te.". 

" Da quodjubes, etjube quod vis." 

" Non tn'ncit nisi Veritas, rnctoria veritatis est caritas.** 

" Ubt amor, ibi trinitas." 

" Fides prtrcedit intellectum.* ' 

*' Deo ser7'ire vera liber tas est.** 

"Nulla in/elicitas /rangit , quern /elicitas nulla corrumpit** 

The <amotts maxim of ecclesiastical harmony : " In necessariis unitas, in dubiis (or, non necessariis) libertas, in omnibus (m 
^risque) c«ri/tfjr,"— which is often ascribed to Augustin, dates in this form not from him, but from a mucVv Wtt v^tvcA. Xix.YxiOR^ 



8 PROLEGOMENA. 



He had a creative and decisive hand in almost every dogma of the Latin church, completing 
some, and advancing others. The centre of his system is the free redeeming grace of God 
IN Christ, operating through the actual, historical church. He is evangelical or 
Pauline in his doctrine of sin and grace, but catholic (that is, old-catholic, not Roman CathoHc) 
in his doctrine of the church. The Pauline element comes forward mainly in the Pelagian con- 
troversy, the catholic-churchly in the Donatist ; but each is modified by the other. 

Dr. Baur incorrectly makes freedom the fundamental idea of the Augustinian system. But 
this much better suits the Pelagian \ while Augustin started (like Calvin and Schleiermacher) from 
the idea of the absolute dependence of man upon God. He changed his idea of freedom 
durini^ the Pelagian controversy. Baur draws an ingenious and suggestive comparison 
between Augustin and Origen, the two greatest intellects among the chiu*ch fathers. " There is 
no church teacher of the ancient period," says he,^ " who, in intellect and in grandeur and con- 
sistency of view, can more justly be placed by the side of Origen than Augustin ; none who, 
with all the difference in individuality and in mode of thought, so closely resembles him. How 
far both towered above their times, is most clearly manifest in the very fact that they alone, of 
all the theologians of the first six centuries, became the creators of distinct systems, each pro- 
ceeding from a definite idea, and each completely carried out ; and this fact proves also how 
much the one system has that is analogous to the other. The one system, like the other, is 
founded upon the idea oi freedom ; in both there is a specific act, by which the entire develop- 
ment of human life is determined ; and in both this is an act which lies far outside of the 
temporal consciousness of the individual ; with this difference alone, that in one system the act 
belongs to each separate individual himself, and only falls outside of his temporal life and 
consciousness ; in the other, it lies within the sphere of the temporal history of man, but is only 
the act of one individual. If in the system of Origen nothing gives greater offence than the 
idea of the pre-existence and fall of souls, which seems to adopt heathen ideas into the Christian 
faith, there is in the system of Augustin the same overleaping of individual life and conscious- 
ness, in order to explain from an act in the past the present sinful condition of man ; but the 
pagan Platonic point of view is exchanged for one taken from the Old Testament. . . . 
What therefore essentially distinguishes the system of Augustin from that of Origen, is only this : 
the fall of Adam is substituted for the pre-temporal fall of souls, and what in Origen still wears 
a heathen garb, puts on in Augustin a purely Old Testament form." 

The learning of Augustin was not equal to his genius, nor as extensive as that of Origen and 
Eusebius, but still considerable for his time, and superior to that of any of the Latin fathers, 
with the single exception of Jerome. - He had received in the schools of Madaura and Carthage 
the usual philosophical and rhetorical preparation for the forum, which stood him in good stead 
also in theology. He was familiar with Latin literature, and was by no means blind to the 
excellencies of the classics, though he placed them far below the higher beauty of the Holy 
Scriptures. The Horiensius of Cicero (a lost work) inspired him during his university course 
with enthusiasm for philosophy and for the knowledge of truth for its own sake ; the study of 
Platonic and Neo- Platonic works (in the Latin version of the rhetorician Victorinus) kindled in . 
him an incredible fire ; * though in both he missed the holy name of Jesus and the cardinal 
virtues of love and humility, and found in them only beautiful ideals without power to conform 



(in a special treatise on the antiquity of the author, the original form, etc., of this sentence, Gottingen, 1850) traces the authorship to 
Rupert Mei.»enius, an irenical German theologian of the seventeenth century, Baxter, also, who lived during the intense conflict of 
English Puritanism and Episcopacy, and grew weary of the ** fury of theologians," adopted a similar sentiment. The sentence is 
held by many who differ widely in the definition of what is "necessary" and what is " doubtful." The meaning of " charity in all 
things" is above doubt, and a moral duty of every Christian, though practically violated by too many in all denominations. 

1 VorUsungrn Uher die christl. Dogtttengeschichte , vol. I. P. II. p. 30 sq. 

"^Adv. Academicos, 1. ii. c. 2, g 5 : " Etiam miki ipsi de me incredibiie incendium concttarunt ." And in several passages of the 
Gvitm* Dei (viii. 3-12 ; xxii. a?) he speaks very favourably of Plato, and also of Aristotle, and thus broke the way for the high authority 
of the Aristotelian philosophy with the scholastics of the middle ag«. 



PROLEGOMENA. 



him to them. His City of God, his book on heresies, and other writings, show an extensive 
knowledge of ancient philosophy, poetry, and history, sacred and secular. He refers to the 
most distinguished persons of Greece and Rome ; he often alludes to Pythagoras, Plato, Aris- 
totle, Plotin, Porphyry, Cicero, Seneca, Horace, Vergil, to the earlier Greek and Latin fathers, 
to Eastern and Western heretics. But his knowledge of Greek literature was mostly derived 
from Latin translations. With the Greek laqguage, as he himself frankly and modestly con- 
fesses, he had, in comparison with Jerome, but a superficial acquaintance.^ Hebrew he did not 
understand at all. Hence, with all his extraordinary familiarity with the Latin Bible, he made 
many mistakes in exposition. He was rather a thinker than a scholar, and depended mainly on 
his own resources, which were always abundant. 

Notes. — ^We note some of the most intelligent and appreciative estimates of Augustin. Erasmus {Ep, dedicai, 
ad Alfons. arckiep. ToUt, 1 529) says, with an ingenious play upon the name Aurelius Augustinus: " Quid kabet 
orbis ckristiantis hoc scriptore magis aureum vel augustius ? ut ipsa vocabuia nequaquam forfuito, sed numinis pro- 
videntia videantur indita tnro, Auro sapienHa nihil pretiosius : fulgore eioqutntia cum sapicntia conjuncta nihil 
mirabilius, . . . Non arbitror cUium esse doctorem, in quern cpuUntus ilU ac benignus Spiritus dotes suas omnes 
largius effuderit, quam in Auguslinum" The great philosopher Leibnitz (Pra/a/. ad Theodic. \ 34) calls him 
^tnrum sane magnum el ingenii slupendi^" and "vaslissimo ingenio pradilum" Dr. Baur, without sympathy with 
his views, speaks enthusiastically of the man and his genius. Among other things he says ( Vorlesungen iiber Dog' 
irnngeschichte, i. i. p. 61) : "There is scarcely another theological author so fertile and withal so able as Augustin. 
His scholarship was not equal to his intellect; yet even that is sometimes set too low, when it is asserted 
that he had no acquaintance at all with the Greek language ; for this is incorrect, though he had attained no great 
proficiency in Greek.*' C. Bindemann (a Lutheran divine) begins his thorough monograph (vol. i. preface) with 
the well-deserved eulogium : '* St. Augiistin is one of the greatest personages in the church. He is second in im- 
portance to none of the teachers who have wrought most in the church since the apostolic time ; and it can well be 
said that among the church fathers the first place is due k) him, and in the time of the Reformation a Luther alone, 
for fulness and depth of thought and grandeur of character, may stand by his side. He is the summit of the devel- 
opment of the mediaeval Western church ; from him descended the mysticism, no less than the scholasticism, of the 
middle age ; he was one of the strongest pillars of the Roman Catholicism, and from his works, next to the Holy 
Scriptures, especially the Epistles of Paul, the leaders of the Reformation drew most of that conviction by which a 
new age was introduced.'' Staudenmaier, a Roman Catholic theologian, counts Augustin among those minds in 
which an hundred others dwell (Scotus Erigena, i. p. 274). The Roman Catholic philosophers A. GOnther and 
Th. Gangauf, put him on an equality with the greatest philosophers, and discern in him a providential personage 
endowed by the Spirit of God for the instruction of all ages. A striking characterization is that of the Old Catholic 
Dr. Huber (in his instructive work : Die Philosophie der Kirchenvdler^ Munich, 1859, p. 312 sq.) : "Augustin is a 
nniqne phenomenon in Christian history. No one of the other fathers has left so luminous traces of his existence. 
Though we find among them many rich and powerful minds, yet we find in none the forces of personal character. 



> It is sometimes asserted that he had no knowledge at all of the Greek. So Gibhon, for example, says (ch. xxxiii.) : " The 
superficial learning of Augustin was confined to the Latin language." But this is a mistake. In his youth he had a great aversion to 
the carious language of Hellas because he had a bad teacher and was forced to it {Con/, i. 14). He read the writings of Plato in a Latin 
translation (vii. 9). But after his baptism, during his second residence in Rome, he resumed the study of Greek with greater zest, for 
the sake of his biblical studies. In Hippo he had, while presbyter, good opportunity to advance in it, since his bishop, Aurelius, a 
native Greek, understood his mother tongue much better than the Latin. In his books he occasionally makes ^reference to the Greek. 
In his work Centra Jul. i. c. 6 g 21 (torn. x. 510), he corrects the Pelagian Julian in a translation from Chrysostom, quoting the original. 
** Ego ipsa verha Graca qu<e a Joanne dicta sunt ponam : 3id tout© Jtat ra. vai6ia fiawri^ofitv^ icairoi a/iopT^/iaTo ov<c cxoi^a, ^od 
est Latin* : Idea *t in/antes baptitamus^ guamvis peccata non kaSentesJ" Julian had freely rendered this : " cum non sint coinquinati 
peccato,*' and had drawn the inference: ** Sanct us Joannes Constantinopolitanus (John Chrysostom] negat esse in parvulis originate 
/eccaimm." Augustin helps himself out of the pinch by arbitrarily supplying /r«»/na to a^opn^Mara, so that the idea of sin inherited 
from another is not excluded. The Greek fathers, however, did not consider hereditary corruption to be proper sin or guilt at all, but 
only defect, weakness, or disease. In the City 0/ God^ lib. xix. c. 23, he quotes a passage from Porphyry's €<c AoYitaiF ^lAoao^ia, and 
in book xviii. 23, he explains the Greek monogran% tx^u*' He gives the derivation of several Greek words, and correctly distinguishes 
between such synonyms as ycKvaiu and ri«Tw, cv^^ and ff-po<revx>|, vkoii and nvtv^.a. It is probable that he read Plotin, and the 
Panarion of Epiphanius or the summary of it, in Greek (while the Church History of Eusebius he knew only in the translation of 
Rofinus). But in his exegetical and other works he very rarely consults the Septuagint or Greek Testament, and was content with 
the very imperfect Itala, or the improved version of Jerome (the Vulgate). The Benedictine editors overestimate his knowledge of 
Greek. He himself frankly confesses that he knew very little of it. De Trinit. 1. iii. Prooem, (*' Graacte lingua non sit nobis tantus 
habitus, ut taJium rerum libris legendis et intelligendis ullo modo reperiamur idonei"), and Contra literas Petiliani (written in 
400), 1. ii. c. 38 (" Et ego quidem Grcecae linguee perparum assecutus turn, et prop* nihil''*). On the philosophical learning of Augustin 
may be compared NoinRRissoN, /. c. ii. p. 9a sqq. 



lO PROLEGOMENA. 



mindt heart, and will, so largely developed and so harmoniously working. No one surpasses him in wealth of per- 
ceptions and dialectical sharpness of thoughts, in depth and fervour of religious sensibility, in greatness of aims and 
energy of action. He therefore also marks the culmination of the patristic age, and has been elevated by the 
acknowledgment of succeeding times as the first and the universal church father. — His whole character reminds us 
in many respects of Paul, with whom he has also in common the experience of being called from manifold errors 
to the service of the gospel, and like whom he could boast that he had laboured in it more abundantly than all the 
others. And as Paul among the Apostles pre-eminently determined the development of Christianity, and became, 
more than all others, the expression of the Christian mind, to which men ever aften^'ards return, as often as in the 
life of the church that mind becomes turbid, to draw from him, as the purest fountain, a fresh understanding of the 
gospel doctrine, — so has Augustin turned the Christian nations since his time for the most part into his paths, and 
become pre-eminently their trainer and teacher, in the study of whom they always gain a renewal and deepening of 
their Christian consciousness. Not the middle age alone, but the Reformation also, was ruled by him, and whatever 
to this day boasts of the Christian spirit, is connected at least in part with Augustin." Villemain, in his able and 
eloquent " Tableau de rHaquence ChrHienne au IV* sUclc " (Paris, 1849, p. 373), commences his sketch of Augus- 
tin as follows: **N&us arrivons a Fhomme U pltis ^tonftani de V Eglise iatine^ d celui qui portai le plus d imagination 
dans la thiologie^ le plus d''iloquence et mime sensibiliti dans la scholastique ; ce fut saint Augustin. Donne%-lui un 
autre siicle, placez-le dans meilHure civilisation ; et jamais homme n^aura paru doui d^un ghtie plus vaste et plus 
facile, Mitaphysique, histoire^ anHquitis, science des mocrs^ connaissance d^ arts, Augustin avait tout embrassi. It 
icrit sur la musique comme sur le libre arbitre ; il explique le phinomhte intellectual la de mhtiaire, comme ilraisonne 
sur la dicadence de P empire romain. Son esprit subtil et vigoureux a souvent consumi dans dcs probUmes mystiques 
une force de sagaciti qui suffirait aux plus sublimes conceptions.^^ FRfeofeRiC OzANAM, in his "La civilisation au 
cinqui^e siicle" (translated by A. C. Glyn, 1868, Vol. I. p, 272), counts Augustin among the three or four great, 
metaphysicians of modern times, and says that his task was " to clear the two roads open to Christian philosophy 
and to inaugurate its two methods of mysticism and dogmatism." Noukrisson, whose work on Augustin is 
clothed with the authority of the Institute of France, assigns to him the first rank among the masters of human 
thought, alongside of Plato and Leibnitz, Thomas Aquinas and Bossuet. **Si une critique toujours respectueuse^ 
mais dune inviolable sinciriti, est une des formes les plus hautes de P admiration, j^ estime, au contraire, n^ avoir fait 
qtfexalter ce grand coeur^ ce psychologue consolant et imu, ce mitaphysiden subtil et sublime, en un mot, cet attachant 
et poitique ginie, dont la place reste marquie, au p>remier rang, parmi les mattres de la pensie humaine^ d cbti de 
Pldton et de Descartes, d^Aristote et de saint Thomas, de Leibnitz et de Bossuet.''^ (La philosophie de saint Augustin^ 
Par. 1866, torn. i. p. vii.) l^ESSENsfe (in art. Aug., in Smith & Wace, Diet, of Christ. Biography, I. 222) : "Aug. 
siill claims the honour of having brouj;ht out in all its light the fundamental doctrine of Christianity ; despite the errors 
of his system, he has opened to the church the path of every progress and of every reform, by stating with the utmost 
vigour the scheme of free salvation which he had learnt in the school of St. Paul." Among English and American 
writers. Dr. Shkdd, in the Introduction to his edition of the Confessions (i860), has furnished a truthful and forcible 
description of the mind and heart of St. Augustin. I add the striking judgment of the octogenarian historian Dr. Karl 
Hask (Kirschengeschichie auf der Grundlage akademischer Vorlesungen, Leipzig 1 885, vol. I. 522): "The full 
signiBcance of Augustin as an author can be measured only from the consideration of the fact that in the middle ages 
both scholasticism and mysticism lived of his riches, and that afterwards Luther and Calvin drew out of his fulness. 
, We find in him both the sharp understanding which makes salvation depend on the clearly defined dogma of the 

(church, and the loving absoqition of the heart in Gotl which scarcely needs any more the aid of the church. His 
writings reflect all kinds of Christian thoughts, which lie a thousand years apart and appear to be contradictions. 
I low were they possible in so s}'stematic a thinker ? Just as much as they were possible in Christianity, of which he 
was a microcosmus. From the dogmatic abyss of his hardest and most illiberal doctrines arise such liberal sentences 
as these : * Him I shall not condemn in whom I find any thing of Christ ; ' • Let us not forget that in the very enemies 
are concealed the future citizens.' " 

CHAPTER IV.— 7)^^ Wrilings of St. Augustin, 

The numerous writings of Augustin, the composition of which extended through four and 
forty years, are a mine of Christian knowledge, and experience. They abound in lofty ideas, 
noble sentiments, devout effusions, clear statements of truth, strong arguments against error, 
and passages of fervid eloquence and undying beauty, but also in innumerable repetitions, 
fanciful opinions, and playful conjectures of his uncommonly fertile brain.* 

* Elliss DupiN {Bibliotkique eccUsiastique^ torn. iii. i» partic, p. 818) and Nourrisson (/. c. torn. ii. p. 449) apply to Augustin the 
term magnus o^inator, which Cicero used of himself. There is, however, this important difference that Augustin, along with his many 
opinions on speculative questions in philosophy and theology, had very positive convictions in all essential doctrines, while Cicero was 
a mere eclectic in philosophy. 



PROLEGOMENA. 1 1 



His style is full of life and vigour and ingenious plays on words, but deficient in simplicity, 
purity and elegance, and by Tio means free from the vices of a degenerate rhetoric, wearisome 
prolixity, and from that vagabunda loquacitas^ with which his adroit opponent, Julian of Eclanum, 
charged him. He would rather, as he said, be blamed by grammarians, than not understood by 
the people ; and he bestowed little care upon his style, though he many a time rises in lofty 
poetic flight. He made no point of literary, renown, but, impelled by love to God and to the 
church, he wrote from the fulness of his mind and heart.* The writings before his conversion, 
a treatise on the Beautiful {De Pulchro et Apto), the orations and eulogies which he delivered as 
rhetorician at Carthage, Rome, and Milan, are lost. The professor of eloquence, the heathen 
philosopher, the Manichaean heretic, the sceptic and free thinker, are known to us only from his 
regrets and recantations in the Coirfessions and other works. His literary career for us com- 
mences in his pious retreat at Cassiciacum where he prepared himself for a public profession of 
his faith. He appears first, in the works composed at Cassiciacum, Rome, and near Tagaste, as 
a Christian philosopher, after his ordination to the priesthood as a theologian. Yet even in 
his theological works he everywhere manifests the metaphysical and speculative bent of his mind. X 
)(He never abandoned or depreciated reason, he only subordinated it to faith and made it subser- 
vient to the defence of revealed truth. Faith is the pioneer of reason, and discovers the territory 
which reason explores. 
^ Ihe Toilowing is a classified view of his most important works.* 

I. Autobiographical works. To these belong the Confessions and the Retractations ; the 
former acknowledging his sins, the latter retracting his theoretical errors. In the one he subjects 
his life, in the other his writings, to close criticism ; and these productions therefore furnish the 
best standard for judging of his entire labours.' 

The Confessions are the most profitable, at least the most edifying, product of his pen ; 
indeed, we may say, the most edifying book in all the patristic literature. They were accord- 
ingly the most read even during his lifetime,* and they have been the most frequently published 
since.* A more sincere and more earnest book was never written. The historical part, to the 
tenth book, is one of the devotional classics of all creeds, and second in popularity only to the 
"Imitation of Christ," by Thomas a Kempis, and Bunyan's ** Pilgrim's Progress.'* Certainly 
no autobiography is superior to it in true humility, spiritual depth, and universal interest. 
Augustin records his own experience, as a heathen sensualist, a Manichaean heretic, an anxious 
inquirer, a sincere penitent, and a grateful convert. He finds a response in every human soul 

that struggles through the temptations of nature and the labyrinth of error to the knowledge of 

• • 

1 He was not " intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity/' as a modem English statesman (Lord Beaconsfield) charged 
his equally distinguished rival (Mr. Gladstone) in Parliament. 

s In his Retractations^ he himself reviews ninet^'-three of his works (embracing two hundred and thirty-two books, see ii. 67), in 
chronological order; in the first book those which he wrote while a layman and presbyter, in the second those which he wrote when a 
bishop. See also the extended chronological index in Schonbmann's Biblioth. historico-literaria Patrum Laiinorum, vol. ii. (Lips. 
<794)» P- 34° s<l<l- (reprinted in the supplemental volume, xii., of Migne's ed. of the Opera, p. 24 sqq.); and other systematic and 
alphabetical lists in the eleventh volume of the Bened. ed. (p. 494 sqq., ed. Venet.), and in Migne, tom. xi. 

* For this reason the Benedictine editors have placed the Ret nictations and the Confessions at the head of his works. 

« He himself says of them. Retract. 1. ii. c. 6 : " Multis fratribus eos \Con/essionum libros tredecirn\ muitum picuuisse et placer e 
Mcio** Comp. De donon perseverantiee, c. 20: '* Quid autem meomm cpuscnlorum /requentius et deiectabilius innotescere potuit 
fuam libri Cof^essionum mcarttm f" Comp. Ep. 231 Dario comiti. 

* ScHoNNEMANN (in the supplemental volume of Migne's ed. of Augustin, p. 134 sqq.) cites a multitude of separate editions of the 
Confessions in Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and German, from a. d. 1475 to 1776. Since that time several 
new editions have been added. One of the best Latin editions is that of Karl von Raumer (Stuttgart, 1856), who used to read the 
Confessions with his students at Erlangen once a week for many years. In his preface he draws a comparison between them and 
Rousseau's Confessions and Hamann's Gedanken iiber nteinen Lebenslauf English and German translations are noticed above in 
the Lit. Dr. Shedd (in his ed., Pref. p. xxvii) calls the Confessions the best commentary yet written upon the seventh and eighth 
chapters of Romans. " That quickening of the human spirit, which puts it again into vital and sensitive relations to the holy and 
eternal ; that illumination of the mind, whereby it is enabled to perceive with clearness the real nature of truth.>nd righteousness ; 
that empowering of the will, to the conflict of victory — the entire process of restoring the Divine image in the soul of man — is delin- 
eated in this book, with a vividness and reality never exceeded by the uninspired mind." . . . "It is the life of God in the soul 
of a strong man, rushing and rippling with the freedom of the life of nature. He who watches can almost see the growth; he who 
listens can hear the perpetual motion ; and he who is in sympathy will be swept along." 



1 2 PROLEGOMENA. 



truth and the beauty of holiness, and after many sighs and tears finds rest and peace in the arms 
of a merciful Saviour. The style is not free from the faults of an artificial rhetoric, involved 
periods and far-fetched paronomasias ; but these defects are more than atoned for by passages of 
unfading beauty, the devout spirit and psalm-like tone of the book. It is the incense of a sacred 
•imysticism of the heart which rises to the throne on high. The wisdom of some parts of the 
^ Confessions may be doubted.* The world would never have known Augustin's sins, if he had 
not told them ; nor were they of such a nature as to destroy his respectability in the best heathen 
society of his age ; but we must all the more admire his honesty and humility. 

Rousseau's "Confessions," and Goethe's "Truth and Fiction," may be compared with 
Augustin's Confessions as works of rare genius and of absorbing psychological interest, but they 
are written in a radically different spirit, and by attempting to exalt human nature in its un- 
sanctified state, they tend as much to expose its vanity and weakness, as the work of the bishop 
of Hippo, being written with a single eye to the glory of God, raises man from the dust of 
^^epentance to a new and imperishable life of the Spirit.* 

I Augustin composed the Confessions about the year 397, ten years after his conversion. The 
f^t nine books contain, in the form of a continuous prayer and confession before God, a general 
^etch of his earlier life, of his conversion, and of his return to Africa in the thirty-fourth year 
/of his age. The salient points in these books are the engaging history of his conversion in 
' Milan, and the story of the last days of his noble mother in Ostia, spent as it were at the very 
gate of heaven and in full assurance of a blessed reunion at the throne of glory. The last three 
books and a part of the tenth are devoted to speculative philosophy ; they treat, partly in tacit 
opposition to Manichaeism, of the metaphysical questions of the possibility of knowing God, 
and the nature of time and space ; and they give an interpretation of the Mosaic cosmogony in 
. the style of the typical allegorical exegesis usual with the fathers, but foreign to our age ; they 
\are therefore of little value to the general reader, except as showing that even abstract meta- 
physical subjects may be devotionally treated. 

The Retractations were produced in the evening of his life (427 and 428), when, mindful of 
the proverb : ** In the multitude of words there wanteth not transgression," ' and remembering 
that we must give account for every idle word,* he judged himself, that he might not be judged.* 
He revised in chronological order the numerous works he had written before and during his 
episcopate, and retracted or corrected whatever in them seemed to his riper knowledge false or 
obscure, or not fully agreed with the orthodox catholic faith. Some of his changes were reac- 
tionary and no improvements, especially those on the freedom of the will, and on religious 
toleration. In all essential points, nevertheless, his theological system remained the Same from 
his conversion to this time. The Retractations give beautiful evidence of his love of truth, his 
conscientiousness, and his humility.' 

To this same class should be added the Letters of Augustin, of which the Benedictine 
editors, in their second volume, give two hundred and seventy (including letters to Augustin) in 
chronological order from a. d. 386 to a. d. 429. These letters treat, sometimes very minutely. 



1 We mean his sexual sins. He kept a concubine for sixteen years, the mother of his only child, Adcodatus, and after her separation 
he formed for a short time a similar connection in Milan ; but in both cases he was faithhil. Con/. IV. 2 {unam habebam . . . servans 
tori fieUm") : VI. 15. Erasmus thought very leniently of this sin as contrasted with the conduct of the priests and abbots of his 
time. Augustin himself deeply repented of it, and devoted his life to celibacy. 

* NouRRissoN (1. c. torn. i. p. 19) calls the Cm/essions ** cet ouvragt unique, souvtnt imiti, itnujoursparodii, ok U s'accuse, le con- 
damne et s' humilie , priirt ardente, ricit entrainant, mitaphysique incomparable , kixtoire de tout un monde qui se reflite dans 
rhistoire dune Ame." Corap. also an article on the Confessions in " The Contemporary Review" for June, 1867, pp. 133-160. 

s Prov. X. 19. This verse {ex muitiioquio nan effugies peccatum) the Semi* Pelagian Gennadius {De viris illustr. sub Aug.) applies 
against Augustin in excuse for his erroneous doctrines of freedom and predestination. 
< Matt. xii. 36. 

* z Cor. xi. 31. Comp. his Prologus to the two books of Retractationes. 

* J. MoRBLL Mackbnzib (in W. Smith's Dictionary 0/ Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology , vol. i. p. 439) happily calU 
the Retractations of Augustin " one of the noblest sacrifices ever laid upon the altar of truth by a magestic intellect acting in obedience 
to the purest conscientiousness." 



PROLEGOMENA. 13 



of all the important questions of his time, and give us an insight of his cares, his official fidelity, 
his large heart, and his effort to become, like Paul, all things to all men. 

When the questions of friends and pupils accumulated, he answered them in special works ; 
and in this way he produced various collections of Quastiotus and Responsianes^ dogmatical, 
exegetical, and miscellaneous (a. d. 390, 397, &c.). 

II. Philosophical treatises, in dialogue ; almost all composed in his earlier life ; either 
during his residence on the country-seat Cassiciacum in the vicinity of Milan, where he spent 
half a year before his baptism in instructive and stimulating conversation, in a sort of academy 
or Christian Platonic banquet with Monnica, his son Adeodatus, his brother Navigius, his 
friend Alypius, and some cousins and pupils ; or during his second residence in Rome ; or soon 
after his return to Africa.* 

To this class belong the works j QnUri^. Acadamcqs tibri trei^ C186), iA which he combats the . 
skepti cism and probab ilism of the New Academy j^rT^th^ dQCttilijR.lhal;, man can never reach the 
truth, but can at best at tain onJy;^^iQhability ; De vita beata (386), in which he makes true 
blessedness to consist in the perfect knowledge of God ; De ordine,— on the relation of evil to 
the divine order of the world' (386) ; SoUloquia (387), communings with his own soul concern- 
ing God, the highest good, the knowledge of truth, and immortality ; De imtnartalitaie anima 
(387), a continuation of the Soliloquies; De quantitate animce (387), discussing sundry questions 
of the size, the origin, the incorporeity of the soul ; De musica Ubri vi (387-389) ; De magistro 
(389), ia which, in a dialogue with his son Adeodatus, a pious and promising, but precocious 
youth, who died soon after his retiun to Africa (389), he treats on the importance and virtue of 
the word of God, and on Christ as the infallible Master.' To these may be added the later 
work, De anima et ejus origine (419). Other philosophical works on grammar, dialectics (or ars 
bene disputandi), rhetoric, geometry, and arithmetic, are lost.* 

These works exhibit as yet little that is specifically Christian and churchly ; but they show a 
Platonism seized and consecrated by the spirit of Christianity, full of high thoughts, ideal views, 
and discriminating argument. They were designed to present the different stages of human 
thought by which he himself had reached the knowledge of the truth, and to serve others as 
steps to the sanctuary. They form an elementary introduction to his theology. He afterwards, 
in his Retractations y withdrew many things contained in them, like the Platonic view of the pre- 
. -^—^—^——— ' ■ ■ 

t In torn. i. of the ed. B«ned., immediately after the Rttractaiionet and Con/essiones^ amd at the close of the volume. On these 
philosophical writings, see Bruckbr: Historia criHca. philosophutt Lips. 1766, torn. iii. pp. 485-507; H. Rittbr : Geschichte der 
^JUlasopkie, vol. vi. p. 153 sqq. ; Ubbbrwbg, History 0/ PhUotophyt I. 333-346 (Am. ed.) ; Erdmamn, Grundriss <Ur Gtsckichte dtr 
PkiUsc^kie, I. 331-340 ; Bindkmann, /. c. L 38a sqq. ; Huber, /. c. I. 343 sqq. ; Gangauf, /. c. p. 25 sqq., and Nourrisson, /. c. ch. i. 
and ii. Nourrisson makes the just remark (i. p. 53) : **Si la philosopkie est la recherchi de la veriti, jamais sans doute U ne s'est ren- 
contri une dme plus philosophe que celle d* saint Augustin. Car jamais Ame n*a suppcrti avec plus d' impatience les anxiitis du 
doute et n* a/ait plus tt efforts Pour dissiper Us/dntdmes de Ferreur." 

* Or on the question : " Utrum omnia bona et mala dhrina providentiee or do continent f" Comp. Retract, i. 3. 

* Augustin, in his Confessions (1. ix. c. 6), expresses himself in this touching way about this son of his illicit love : " We took with 
OS [on returning from the country to Milan to receive the sacrament of baptism] also the boy Adeodatus, the son of my camkl sin. 
Thou hadst formed him well. He was but just fifteen years old, and he was superior in mind to many grave and learned men. I 
acknowledge Thy gifts, O Lord, my God, who Greatest all, and who canst reform our deformities ; for I had no part in that boy but sin. 
And when we brought him up in Thy nurture. Thou, only Thou, didst prompt us to it ; I acknowledge Thy gifts. There is my book 
entitled, De magistro: he speaks with me there. Thou knowest that all things there put into his mouth were in his mind when he was 
sixteen years of age. That maturity of mind was a terror to me ; and who but Thou is the artificer of such wonders ? Soon Thou didst 
take his life from the earth ; and I think more quietly of him now, fearing no more for his boyhood, nor his youth, nor his whole life. 
We took him to ourselves as one of the same age in Thy grace, to be trained in Thy nurture ; and we were baptised together ; and all 
trouble about the past fled from us." He refers to him also in De vita beata, g 6 : " There was also with us, in age the youngest of all, 
but whose talents, if affection deceives me not, promise something great, my son Adeodatus." In the same book (g z8), he mentions an 
answer of his : ** He is truly chaste who waits on God, and keeps himself to Him only." 

* The books on grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, and the ten Categories of Aristotle, in the Appendix to the first volume of the Bened. 
ed., are spurious. For the genuine works of Augustin on these subjects were written in a different form (the dialogue) and for a higher 
purpose, and were lost in his own day. Comp. Retract. \. c. 6. In spite of this, Prantl {Geschichte der Lo^k in Abendlande, pp. 
665-674, cited by Hubbr, /. c. p. 340) has advocated the genuinencM of the Principia dialectical and Hubbr inclines to agree. Gan- 
gauv, /. e. p. 5, and NotntRissoN, i. p. 37, consider them spurious. 



14 PROLEGOMENA. 



existence of the soul, and the Platonic idea that the acquisition of knowledge is a recollection or 
excavation of the knowledge hidden in the mind.' The philosopher in him afterwards yielded 
more and more to the theologian, and his views became more positive and empirical, though in 
some cases narrower also and more exclusive. Yet he could never cease to philosophise, and 
even his later works, especially De Trinitate, and De Civitaie Dei, are full of profoimd specula- 
tions. Before his conversion he followed a particular system of philosophy, first the Manichaean, 
then the Platonic ; after his conversion he embraced the Christian philosophy, which is based on 
the divine revelation of the Scriptures, and is the handmaid of theology and religion ; but at 
the same time he prepared the way for the catholic ecclesiastical philosophy, which rests on the 
authority of the church, and became complete in the scholasticism of the middle age. 

In the history of philosophy he deserves a place in the highest rank, and has done greater 
service to the science of sciences than any other father, Clement of Alexandria and Origen not 
excepted. He attacked and refuted the pagan philosophy as pantheistic or dualistic at heart ; he 
shook the superstitions of astrology and magic ; he expelled from philosophy the doctrine of 
emanation, and the idea that God is the soul of the world ; he substantially advanced psychology; 
T^e solved the question of the origin and the nature of evil more nearly than any of his predecessors, 
and as nearly as most of his successors ; he was the first to investigate thoroughly the relation of 
divine omnipotence and omniscience to human freedom, and to construct a theodicy ; in short, 
he is properly the founder of a Christian philosophy, and not only divided with Aristotle the 
empire of the mediaeval scholasticism, but furnished also living germs for new systems of philoso- 
phy, and will always be consulted in the speculative discussions of Christian doctrines. 

The philosophical opinions of Augustin are ably and clearly summed up by Ueberweg as 
follows : * 

<* Against the skepticism of the Academics Augustin urges that man needs the knowledge of truth for his hap- 
piness, that it is not enough merely to inquire and to doubt, and he finds a foundation for all our knowledge, a 
foundation invulnerable against every doubt, in the consciousness we have of our sensations, feelings, oiur willing, and 
thinking, in short, of all our psychical processes. From the undeniable existence and possession by man of some 
truth, he concludes to the existence of God as the truth per se ; but our convictfon of the existence of the material 
world he regards as only an irresistible belief. Combating heathen religion and philosophy, Augustin defends the 
doctrines and institutions peculiar to Christianity, and maintains, in particular, against the Neo-PIatoniste, whom he 
rates most highly among all the ancient philosophers, the Christian theses that salvation is to be found in Christ 
alone, that divine worship is due to no other being beside the triune God, since he created all things himself, and 
did not commission inferior beings, gods, demons, or angels to create the material world ; that the soul with its 
body will rise again to eternal salvation or damnation, but will not return periodically to renewed life upon the 
earth ; that the soul does not exist before the body, and that the latter is not the prison of the former, but that the 
soul begins to exist at the same time with the body ; that the world both had a beginning and is perishable, and that 
only God and the souls of angels and men are eternal. — Against the dualism of the Manichaeans, who regarded 
good and evil as equally primitive, and represented a portion of the divine substance as having entered into the 
region of evil, in order to war against and conquer it, Augustin defends the monism of the good principle, or of 
the purely spiritual God, explaining evil as a mere negation or privation, and seeking to show from the finiteness of 
the things in the world, and from their differing degrees of perfection, that the evils in the world are necessary, 
and not in contradiction with the idea of creation ; he also defends in opposition to Manichieism, and Gnosticism 
in general, the Catholic doctrine of the essential harmony between the Old and New Testaments. Against the 
Donatists, Augustin maintains the unity of the Church. In opposition to Pelagius and the Pelagians, he asserts 
that divine grace is not conditioned on human worthiness, and maintains the doctrine of absolute predestination, or, 
that from the mass of men who, through the disobedience of Adam (in whom all mankind were present potentially), 
have sunk into corruption and sin, some are chosen by the free election of God to be monuments of his grace, and are 
brought to believe and be saved, while the greater number, as monuments of his justice, are left to eternal damnation." 






1 'H ^at^Tjo-if ov<c a\Ko Ti ^ avaMiojo-if. On this Plato, in the Phaedo, as is well known, rests his doctrine of pre-cxistence. Augustin 
was at first in favor of the idea, &»///. ii. 20, n. 35; afterwards he rejected it. Retract, i. 4, f 4; but after all he assumes in his anthro- 
pology a sort of unconscious, yet responsible, pre-existence of the whole human race in Adam as its organic head, and hence taught a 
universal fall in Adam's fall. 

« History 0/ Philosophy , vol. i. 333 »q., trazulated by Prof. Geo. S. Morris. 



PROLEGOMENA. 15 




m. Apologetic works against Pagans and Jews. Among these the twenty-two books, De 
Crvitate Dei, are still well worth reading. They form the deepest and richest apologetic work of 
antiquity; begun in 413, after the occupation of Rome by the Gothic king Alaric, finished in 
426, and often separately published. They condense his entire theory of the world and of man, 
and are the first attempt at a comprehensive philosophy of universal history under the dualistic 
view of two antagonistic currents or organized forces, a kingdom of this world which is doomed 
to final destruction, and a kingdom of God which will last forever.* 

This work has controlled catholic historiography ever since, and received the official approval of 
Pope Leo XIII., who, in his famous Encyclical ImmartaU Dei (Nov. i, 1885), incidentally alludes 
to it in these words: "Augustin, in his work, De Civitate Dei, set forth so clearly the efficacy 
of Christian wisdom and the way in which it is bound up with the well-being of civil society, 
that he seems not only to have pleaded the cause of the Christians at his own time, but to have 
triumphantly refuted the calumnies against Christianity for all time." 

From the Protestant point of view Augustin erred in identifying the kingdom of God with 
the risible Catholic Church, which is only a part of it. 

IV. Religious-Theological works of a general nature (in part anti-Manichaean) : De 
utilitate credendi, against the Gnostic exaltation of knowledge (392) ; De fide et symbolOy a dis- 
course which, though only presbyter, he delivered on the Apostles' Creed before the council at 
Hippo at the request of the bishops in 393; De doctrina Christiana iv libri {y)i \ the fourth 
book added in 426), a compend of exegetical theology for instruction in the interpretation of 
the Scriptures according to Ihe analogy of the faith ; De catechizandis rudibus likewise for cate- 
chetical purposes (400) ; Enchiridotiy or Defid^y spe et caritatey a brief compend of the doctrine 
of faith and morals, which he wrote in 421, or later, at the request of Laurentius; hence also 
called ManuaU ad LcairenHum} 

V. Polemic-Theological works. These are the most copious sources of the history of 
Christian doctrine in the patristic age. The heresies collectively are reviewed in the book De 
hceresilnis ad Quodvultdeumy written between 428 and 430 to a friend and deacon in Carthage, 
and give a survey of eighty-eight heresies, from the Simonians to the Pelagians.' In the work 
De vera reiigione (390), Augustin proposed to show that the true religion is to be found not with 
the heretics and schismatics, but only in the catholic church of that time. 

The other controversial works are directed against the particular heresies of Manichaeism, 
Donatism, Arianism, Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism. Augustin, with all the firmness of his 
convictions, was free from personal antipathy, and used the pen of controversy in the genuine 
Christian ^"^xxiXy fortiter in re, suaviter in modo. He understood Paul's aXr^^Htoetv iv aydTzri^ and 
forms in this respect a pleasing contrast to Jerome, who had by nature no more fiery temperament 
than he, but was less able to control it. ** Let those,'* he very beautifully says to the Manichaeans, ^ 
** bum with hatred against you, who do not know how much pains it costs to find the truth, 
how hard it is to guard against error ; — ^but I, who after so great and long wavering came to know; 
the truth, must bear myself towards you with the same patience which my fellow-believers showed 
towards me while I was wandering in blind madness in your opinions.'* * 

i In the Bened. ed. torn. vii. Comp. Retract, ii. 43, and Ch. Hist. III. § 13. The City 0/ God And the Confessions are the only writings 
of Augustin which Gibbon thought worth while to read (chap, xxxiii.). Huber (/. c. p. 315) says : "Augustin's philosophy of history, as 
he presents it in bis Civitas Dei, has remained to this hour the standard philosophy of history for the church orthodoxy, the bounds of 
which this orthodoxy, unable to perceive in the motions of the modern spirit'the fresh morning air of a higher day of history, is scarcely 
able to transcend." Nourrisson devotes a special chapter to the consideration of the two cities of Augustin, the City of the World and 
the City of God (torn. ii. 43-88). Compare also the Introduction to Saisset's Traduction de la Citi de Dieu, Par. 1855, and Reinkbn's 
(old Cath. Bishop), Geschicktsphilosophie des heil. Aug. 1866. Engl, translation of the City o/God by Dr. Marcus Dods, Edinburgh. 
1872, a vols., and in the second vol. of this Library 0/ the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. 

< Separately edited by Krabinger, Tiibingen, i86x. 

s Ihis work is also incorporated in the Corpus heereseologicum of Fr. Oshlbr, torn. i. pp. zpa-aas, 

* Comira Epist. Manicheei quam vocantfundamenti^ 1. i. a. 



i^ PROLEGOMENA, 




> I. The anti-Manicilean works date mostly from his earlier life, and in time and matter 
,yfoUow immediately upon his philosophical writings.^ In them he afterwards found most to 
i retract, because he advocated the freedom of the will against the Manichsean fatalism. The 
/ most important are : De maribus eccUsia catholicay et de moriims Mamchaorum, two books 
/ (written during his second residence in' Rome, 388) ; De vera religione (390) ; Unde tnahmti ^' 
de libero arbitrioy usually simply De Ubero arbitrioy in three books, against the Manichsean doc- 
trine of evil as a substance, and as having its seat in matter instead of free will (begun in 388, 
finished in 395) ; De Genesi contra ManichaoSy a defence of the biblical doctrine of creation 
(389) ; De duabus animabus, against the psychological dualism of the Manichseans (392) ; Dis- 
putaHo contra FortuncUum (a triumphant refutation of this Manichaean priest of Hippo in August,' 
392) ; Contra Epistolarn Manichai quam vocant/undamenti (397) ; Contra Faustum Manichaum, 
in thirty-three books (400-404) ; De natura boni (404), &c. 

These works treat of the origin of evil ; of free will ; of the harmony of the Old and 
New Testaments, and of revelation and nature ; of creation out of nothing, in opposition to 
dualism and hylozoism ; of the supremacy of faith over knowledge ; of the authority of the 
Scriptures and the Church ; of the true and the false asceticism, and other disputed points ; and 
they are the chief source of our knowledge of the Manichsean Gnosticism and of the arguments 
against it. 

Having himself belonged for nine years to this sect, Augustin was the better fitted for the 
task of refuting it, as Paul was peculiarly prepared for the confutation of the Pharisaic Judaism. 
His doctrine of the nature of evil is particularly valuable. He has triumphantly demonstrated 
for all time, that evil is not a corporeal thing, nor in any way substantial, but a product of the 
free will of the creatmre, a perversion of substance in itself good, a corruption of the nature 
created by God. 

2. Against the Priscillianists, a sect in Spain built on Manichsean principles, are directed 
the \)Oo\i Ad Faulum Orosium contra Friscillianistas et Origenistas (^^11) \* the book Contra 
mendaciumy addressed to Consentius (420); and in part the 190th Epistle (alias Ep. 157), 
to the Bishop Optatus, on the origin of the soul (418), and two other letters, in which he 
refutes erroneous views on the nature of the soul, the limitation of future punishment, and the 
lawfulness of fraud for supposed good purposes. 

3. The ANTi-DoNATiSTic works, composed between the years 393 and 420, argue against 
separatism, and contain Augustin *s doctrine of the church and church-discipline, and of the 
sacraments. To these belong : Fsalmus contra partem Donati (a. d. 393), a polemic popular 
song without regular metre, intended to offset the songs of the Donatists; Contra epistolam 
Farmemaniy written in 400 against the Carthaginian bishop of the Donatists, the successor of 
Donatus ; De baptismo contra Donastistasy in favor of the validity of heretical baptism (400) ; 
Contra Uteras Fetiliani (about 400), against the view of Cyprian and the Donatists, that the 
efficacy of the sacraments depends on the personal worthiness and the ecclesiastical status of 
the officiating priest ; Ad Catholicos Epistola contra DoncUistas, or De unitate ecclesice (402) ; 
Contra Cresconium grammaticum Donastistam (406) ; Breviculus Collationis cum Donatistis^ 
a short account of the -three days* religious conference with the Donatists (411); De cor- 
rectione Donattstarum (417); Contra Gaudenttum, Donat. Episcopum, the last anti-Donatistic 
work (420).' 

These works are the chief patristic authority of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Church 
and against the sects. They are thoroughly Romanizing in spirit and aim, and least satisfactory 
to Protestant readers. Augustin defended in his later years even the principle of forcible 

1 The earliest anti-Manichaum writings (Z>r libero arbitrio : De moribus ecci. cath. et de Moribus Manich.) are in torn. i. ed. 
Bened. ; the latter in torn. viii. 
• Tom. viii. p. 6ii sqq. 
' All these in torn. ix. Comp. Church Hist. III. 2I69 and 70. 



PROLEGOMENA. \^ 



coercion and persecution against heretics and schismatics by a false exegesis of the words in the 
parable " Compel them to come in "(Luke xiv. 23). The result of persecution was that both 
Catholics and Donatists in North Africa were overwhelmed in ruin first by the barbarous Vandals, 
who were Arian heretics, and afterwards by the Mohammedan conquerors. 

4. The anti-Arian works have to do with the deity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, and 
with the Holy Trinity. By far the most important of these are the fifteen books De Trinitate 
(400-416) ; — the most profound and discriminating production of the ancient church on the 
Trinity, in no respect inferior to the kindred works of Athanasius and the two Gregories, and 
for centuries final to the dogma. ^ This may also be counted among the positive didactic works, 
for it is not directly controversial. The CollcUio cum Maximino Arianoy an obscure babbler, 
belongs to the year 428. 

5. The numerous anti-Pelagian works of Augustin are his most influential and most 
valuable, at least for Protestants. They were written between the years 412 and 429. In them 
Augustin, in his intellectual and spiritual prime, develops his system of anthropology and 
soteriology, and most nearly approaches the position of Evangelical Protestantism: On the 
Guilt and the Remission of Sins, and Infant Baptism (41 2) ; On the Spirit and the Letter (413) ; 
On Nature and Grace (415); On the Acts of Pelagius (417); On the Grace of Christ, and 
Original Sin (418) ; On Marriage and Concupiscence (419) ; On Grace and Free Will (426) ; 
On Discipline and Grace (427); Against Julian of Eclanum (two large works, written between 
421 and 429, the second unfinished, and hence called Opus imperfectunt) ; On the Predestination 
tf the Saints (428); On the Gift of Perseverance (429) j &c.* 

These anti-Pelagian writings contain what is technically called the Augustinian system of 
theology, which was substantially adopted by the Lutheran Church, yet without the decree of 
reprobation, and in a more rigorous logical form by the Calvinistic Confessions. The system 
gives all glory to God, does fiill justice to the sovereignty of divine grace, effectually humbles L^ 
and yet elevates and fortifies man, and fiimishes the strongest stimulus to gratitude and the / v^ 
firmest foundation of comfort. It makes all bright and lovely in the circle of the elect. But., /^^ 
it is gloomy and repulsive in its negative aspect towards the non-elect. It teaches a unit^ersal \ \\ 
damnation and only a partial redemption, and confines the offer of salvation to the minority 1 \. 
of the elect ; it ignores the general benevolence of God to all his creatures ; it weakens or / < 
perverts the passages which clearly teach that ** God would have all men to be saved " ; it suspends / ^^ 
their eternal fate upon one single act of disobedience ; it assumes an unconscious, and yet respon- f 'I 
sible pre-existence of Adam's posterity and their participation in his sin and guilt ; it reflects / 
upon the wisdom of God in creating countless millions of beings with the eternal foreknow- \ v^^ 
ledge of their everlasting misery ; and it does violence to the sense of individual responsibility * -' 
for accepting or rejecting the gospel -offer of salvation. And yet this Augustinian system, "'/^ 
especially in' its severest Calvinistic form, has promoted civil and religious liberty, and^- 
trained the most virtuous, independent, and heroic types of Christians, as the Huguenots, the 'X- 
Puritans, the Covenanters, and the Pilgrim Fathers. It is still a mighty moral power, and will ^ ^ /\ 
not lose its hold upon earnest characters until some great theological genius produces from the i^- 

inexhaustible mine of the Scriptures a more satisfactory solution of the awful problem which the 
universal reign of sin and death presents to the thinking mind. 

In Augustin the an ti -Pelagian system was checked and moderated by his churchly and 
sacramental views, and we cannot understand him without keeping both in view. The same 
apparent contradiction we find in Luther, but he broke entirely with the sacerdotal system of 

> Tom. viii. ed. Bened. p. 749 sqq. Comp. Ch. Hist. III. \ 131. llie work was stolen from him by some impatient friends before 
terbion, and before the completion of the twelfth book, so that he became much discouraged, and could only be moved to finish it 
by urgent entreaties. 

s Opera, torn, x., in two parts, with an Appendix. The same in Migne. W. Bright, of Oxford, has published Select Anti-Pela' 
fjuM TreatUeM 0/ St. Aug.f in Latin, z88o. On the Pelagian controversy comp. Ch, Hut. III. ^146-160. 






.^ 






I 



1 8 PROLEGOMENA. 



Rome, and made the doctrine of justification by faith the chief article of his creed, whick 
Augustin never could have done. Calvin was more logical than either, and went back beyond 
justification and Adam's fall, yea, beyond time itself, to the eternal counsel of God which pre* 
ordains, directs and controls the whole history of mankind to a certain end, the triumph of his 
mercy and justice. 

VI. ExEGETiCAL works. The best of these are : De Genesi ad Uteram (The Genesis word 
for word), in twelve books, an extended exposition of the first three chapters of GenesiSi 
particularly the history of the creation literally interpreted, though with many m3rstical 
and allegorical interpretations also (written between 401 and 415);* Enarratianes m 
Psalmos (mostly sermons);* hundred and twenty-four Homilies on the Gospel of Jolm 
(416 and 417);' ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John (417); the Exposition of the 
Sermon on the Mount (393) ; the Harmony of the Gospels (^De consensu evangeUstarum^ 400) ; 
the Epistle to the Galatians (394); and an unfinished commentary on the Epistle to the 
Romans.* 

Augustin deals more in lively, profound, and edifying thoughts on the Scriptures than in 
proper grammatical and historical exposition, for which neither he nor his readers had the 
necessary linguistic knowledge, disposition, or taste. He grounded his theology less upon 
exegesis than upon his Christian and churchly mind saturated with Scriptural truths. He excek 
in spiritual insight, and is suggestive even when he misses the natural meaning. 

VII. Ethical and Ascetic works. Among these belong three hundred and ninety-^ 
Sermones (mostly very short) cU Scripturis (on texts of Scripture), de tempore (festival sermons), 
de Sanctis (in memory of apostles, martyrs, and saints), and de diversis (on various occasions), 
some of them dictated by Augustin, some taken down by hearers.* Also various moral treatises: 
De continentia (395) ; De mendaico (395), against deception (not to be confounded with the 
similar work already mentioned Contra mendacium^ against the fraud-theory of the Priscillianists, 
written in 420) ; De agone Christiana (396) ; De opere monachorum, against monastic idleness 
(400) ; De bono conjugali adv. Jovinianum (400) ; De inrginitate (401) ; De fide et operibus (413) ; 
De adulterinis conjugiisj on i Cor. vii. 10 sqq. (419) ; De bono viduitatis (418) ; De paticntia 
(418) ; De cura pro nwrtuis gerenda, to Paulinus of Nola (421) ; De utilitate jejunii ; De diligendo 
Deo ; Meditationes ;^ &c. 

As we survey this enormous literary labor, augmented by many other treatises and letters now 
lost, and as we consider his episcopal labors, his many journeys, and his adjudications of contro- 
versies among the faithful, which often robbed him of whole days, we must be really astounded 
at the fidelity, exuberance, energy, and perseverance of this father of the church. Surely, such 
a life was worth the living. 

'' 1 Tom. iii. 117-324, Not to be confounded with two other books on Genesis, in which he defends the biblical doctrine of creation 
against the Manichaeans. In this exegetical work he aime-d, as he says, Retract, ii. c. 24, to interpret Genesis " nan secttnditm alU' 
goricas significatioius, sed secundum rerum gestamtn proprietatent*' The work is more original and spirited than the Hexatmerem 
of Basil or of Ambrose. 

s Tom. iv., the whole volume. The English translation of the Com. on the Psalms occupies six volumes of the Oxford Library of 
the Fathers. 

* Tom. iii. 289-834. Translated in Clark's ed. of Augustin's works. 
« All in torn. iii. Translated in part. 

* Tom. V. contains beside these a multitude (317) of doubtful and spurious sermons, likewise divided into four classes. To these 
must be added recently discovered sermons, edited from manuscripts in Florence, Monte Cassino, etc., by M. Denis (179a), O. F. 
Frangipank (1820), K. L. Caillau (Paris, 1836), and Ancelo Mai (in the Noxia Bibliothrca Patrum). 

* Most of ihcm in tom. vi. ed. Bcncd, On the scripta deperdita,dubia et spuria of Augustin, see the index by SchOnemann, /. c. 
p. 50 sqq., and in the supplemental volume of Migne's edition, pp. 34-40. The so-called Meditations of Augustin (German translation 
by August Krohnb, Stuttgart, 1854) are a later compilation by the abbot of Fescamp in France, at the close of the twelfth century, 
from the writings of Augustin, Gregory the Great, Anselm, and others. 



PROLEGOMENA. 19 



CHAPTER Y.—The Influence of St Augustin upon Posterity, and his Relation to Catholicism 

and Protestantism. 

In conclusion we must add some observations respecting the influence of Augustin on the 
Church and the world since his time, and his position with reference to the great antagonism of 
Catholicism and Protestantism. All the church fathers are, indeed, the common inheritance 
of both parties ; but no other of them has produced so permanent effects on both, and no 
other stands in so high regard with both, as Augustin. Upon the Greek Church alone has 
he exercised little or no influence ; for this Church stopped with the undeveloped synergistic 
anthropology of the previous age, and rejects most decidedly, as a Latin heresy, the doc- 
trine of the double procession of the Holy Spirit (the FiUoque) for which Augustin is chiefly 
responsible.^ 

1. Augustin, in the first place, contributed much to the development of the doctrinal basis 
which Catholicism and Protestantism hold in common against such radical heresies of antiquity 
as Manichseism, Arianism, and Pelagianism. In all these great intellectual conflicts he was in 
general the champion of the cause of Christian truth against dangerous errors. Through his 
influence the canon of Holy Scripture (including, indeed, the Old Testament Apocrypha) 
was fixed in its present form by the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). He con- 
quered the Manichaean dualism, hylozoism, and fatalism, and saved the biblical idea of God and 
of creation, and the biblical doctrine of the nature of sin and its origin in the free will of man. 
He developed the Nicene dogma of the Trinity, in opposition to tritheism on the one hand, 
and Sabellianism on the other, but also with the doubtful addition of the Filioque, and in oppo- 
sition to the Greek, gave it the form in which it has ever since prevailed in the West. In 
this form the dogma received classical expression from his school in the falsely so called 
Athanasian Creed, which is not recognized by the Greek Church, and which better deserves the 
name of the Augustinian Creed. 

In Christology, on the contrary, he added nothing new, and he died shortly before the great 
Christological conflicts opened, which reached their oecumenical settlement at the council of 
Chalcedon, twenty years after his death. Yet he anticipated Leo in giving currency in the 
West to the important formula: ** Two natures in one person.'' ' 

2. Augustin is also the principal theological creator of the Latin- Catholic system as distinct 
from the Greek Catholicism on the one hand, and from evangelical Protestantism on the other. 
He ruled the entire theology of the middle age, and became the father of scholasticism in virtue 
of his dialectic mind, and the father of mysticism in virtue of his devout heart, without being 
responsible for the excesses of either system. For scholasticism thought to comprehend the 
divine with the imderstanding, and lost itself at last in empty dialectics; and mysticism 

' The church iathen of the first six centuries are certainly far more Catholic than Protestant, and laid the doctrinal foundation of 
the orthodox Greek and Roman churches. But it betrays a contracted, slavish, and mechanical view of history, when Roman Catholic 
divines claim the fiithers as their exclusive property : forgetting that they taught many things which are as inconsistent with the papal 
as with the Protestant Creed, and that they knew nothing of certain dogmas which are essential to Romanism (such as the infallibility 
of the pope, the seven sacraments, transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgences, auricular confession, the immaculate conception of the 
Vix|ia Mary, etc.). •* I recollect well," says Dr. Newman, the former intellectual leader of Oxford Tractarianism (in his Letter to 
Dr. Pusey on his Eirentcan, 1866, p. 5), •* what an outcast I seemed to my.*elf, when I took down from the shelves of my library the 
vokunes of St. Athanasius or St. Basil, and set my&elf to study them : and how, on the contrary, when at length I was brought into 
Catholic communion, I ki^ed them with delight, with a feeling that in them I had more than all that I had lost, and, as though I were 
directly addressing the glorious saints, who bequeathed them to the Church, I said to the inanimate pages, ' You are now mine, and I 
am yours, beyood any mistake.*** With the same right the Jews might lay exclusive claim to the writings of Moses and the prophets. 
The fiuhers were living men, representing the onward progress and conflicts of Christianity in thrir lime, unfolding and defending great 
truths, but m>t unmixed with many errors and imperfections which subsequent times have corrected. Those are the true children of 
the fiuhers who, standing on the foundation of Christ and the apostles, and, kissing the New Testament rather than any human 
writings, Ibilow them only as far as they followed Christ, and who carry forward their work in the onward march of evangelical catholic 
Christianity. 

* He was summoned to the council of Ephesus, which condemned Nestorianism in 431, but died a year before it met. He prevailed 
upon the Gallic monk, Leporius, to retract Nestorianism. His Christology is in many points defective and obscure. Comp. Dornkr's 
Hui0ry qf CkruUlcgy, ii. pp. 88-98 (Germ. ed.). Jerome did still less for this department of doctrine. 



20 PROLEGOMENA. 



endeavoured to grasp the divine with feeling, and easily strayed into misty sentimentalism; 
Augustin sought to apprehend the divine with the united power of mind and heart, of bold 
thought and humble faith. ^ Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, and Bonaventura, 
are his nearest of kin in this respect. Even now, since the Catholic Church has become t 
Roman Church, he enjoys greater consideration in it than Ambrose, Hilary, Jerome, or Gregory 
the GredH. All this cannot possibly be explained without an interior affinity.* 

His very conversion, in which, besides the Scriptiuxs, the personal intercourse of the hierar- 
chical Ambrose and the life of the ascetic Anthony had great influence, was a transition not 
from heathenism to Christianity (for he was already a Manichsean Christian), but from heresy 
to the historical, orthodox, episcopally organized church, as, for the time, the sole authorized 
vehicle of the apostolic Christianity in conflict with those sects and parties which more or less 
assailed the foundations of the Gospel. It was, indeed, a full and unconditional surrender of 
his mind and heart to God, but it was at the same time a submission of his private judgment 
to the authority of the church which led him to the faith of the gospel.* In the same spirit he 
embraced the ascetic life, without which, according to the Catholic principle, no high religion 
is possible. He did not indeed enter a cloister, like Luther, whose conversion in Erfurt was 
likewise essentially catholic, but he lived in his house in the simplicity of a monk, and made and 
kept the vow of voluntary poverty and celibacy.* 

He adopted Cyprian's doctrine of the church, and completed it in the conflict with Donat- 
ism by transferring the predicates of unity, holiness, universality, exclusiveness, and maternity, 
directly to the actual church of the time, which, with a firm episcopal organization, an unbroken 
succession, and the Apostles* Creed, triumphantly withstood the eighty or the hundred opposing 
sects in the heretical catalogue of the day, and had its visible centre in Rome. In this church 
he had found rescue from the shipwreck of his life, the home of true Christianity, firm ground 
for his thinking, satisfaction for his heart, and a commensurate field for the wide range of his 
powers.* The predicate of infallibility alone he does not plainly bring forward ; he assumes a 
progressive correction of earlier councils by later ; and in the Pelagian controversy he asserts 
the same independence towards pope Zosimus, which Cyprian before him had shown towards 
pope Stephen in the controversy on heretical baptism, with the advantage of having the right 
on his side, so that Zosimus found himself compelled to yield to the African church. But after 

1 Wicger's {Pragynat. Darxtellung des Augustinismus und Pelagianismtu, i. p. 97) finds the most peculiar and remarkable point 
of Augustin's character in his singular union of intellect and imagination, scholasticism and mysticism, in which neither can be said to 
predominate. So also Hubsr, /. c. p. 313. 

* NouRRissoN, the able expounder of the philosophy of Augustin, says (/. c, torn. i. p. iv) : **Je ne crtrit pas, qu*excepU saint Paui^ 
aucun komme ait contrihui datfantag^e, par sa parole comme par ses icriti^ d organiser , d interpreter^ A ripandre ie ckristianiswte : 
et^ apris saint Paul, nut apparemment, non pas mime le glorieux^ r invincible Atkanase^ n'a travailli et nne maniire aussi pui*tant€ 
i/onder Cuniti catholiqueJ* 

* We recall his famous anti-Manichaean dictum : *'Ego evangelio non crederem, nisi me catkolicee ecclesiee comtnaveret auctoritat. 
The Protestant would reverse this maxim, and ground his &ith in the church on his faith in Christ and in the,gospel. So with the 
well-known maxim of Irenaeus : " Ubi ecclesia, ibi Spiritus Dei^ et u6i Spiritus Dei, ibi ecclesia." According to the spirit of fht>teslL 
antism it would be said conversely : " Where the Spirit of God is, there is the church, and where the church is, there is the Spirit 
of God." 

^ According to genuine Christian principles it would have been far more noble, if he had married the African woman with whom he 
had lived in illicit intercourse for thirteen years, who was always faithful to him, as he was to her, and had borne him his beloved and 
highly gifted Adeodatus ; instead of casting her off, and, as he for a while intended, choosing another for the partner of his life, whose 
excellences were more numerous. The superiority of the evangelical Protestant morality over the Catholic asceticism is here palpable. 
But with the prevailing spirit of his age he would hardly have enjoyed so great regard, nor accomplished so much good if he had been 
married. Celibacy was the bridge from the heathen degradation of marriage to the evangelical Christian exaltation and sanctification 
of the family life. 

» On Augustin's doctrine of the church, see Ch. Hist. 111. g 71, and especially the thorough account by R. Rotkb : An/ange der ckristl, 
Kirche und ihrer V'er/assung, vol. i. (1837), pp. 679-711. "Augustin," says he, "decidedly adopted Cyprian's conception [of the 
church] in all essential points. And once adopting it, he penetrated it in its whole depth with his wonderfully powerful and exuberant 
soul, and, by means of his own clear, logical mind, gave it the perfect and rigorous system which perhaps it still lacked" (p. 679 sqq.). 
** Augustin's conception of the doctrine of the church was about standard for succeeding times " (p. 685). See also an able article of 
Prof. Reuter, of Gottingen, on Augustin's views concerning episcopacy, tradition, infallibility, in Brieger's **Zeitschrift/Ur Hist. Tktol,** 
for 1885 (Bk. VIII. pp. 126-187). 



PROLEGOMENA. 21 



the condemnation of the Pelagian errors by the Roman see (418), he declared that ** the case 
is finished, if only the error were also finished." ' 

He was the first to give a clear and fixed definition of the sacrament, as a visible sign of 
invisible grace,* resting on divine appointment ; but he knows nothing of the number seven ; 
thfi was a much later enactment. In the doctrine of baptism he is entirely Catholic, though ^ 
in logical contradiction with his dogma of predestination ; he maintained the necessity of / 
baptism for salvation on the ground of John iii. 5 and Mark xvi. 16, and denved from it the \ 
horrible dogma of the eternal damnation of all unbaptized infants, though he reduced their / 
condition to a mere absence of bliss, without actual suffering.' In the doctrine of the holy ^ 
communion he stands, like his predecessors, TertuUian and Cyprian, nearer to the Calvinistic J 
than any other theory of a spiritual presence and fruition of Christ's body and blood. He 
^rtainly can not be quoted in favor of transubstantiation. He was the chief authority of 
latramnus and Berengar in their opposition to this dogma. 

He contributed to promote, at least in his later writings, the Catholic faith of miracles,' and 
he worship of Mary;* though he exempts the Virgin only from actual sin, not from original, 
ind, with all his reverence for her, never calls her ** mother of God."* 

At first an advocate of religious liberty and of purely spiritual methods of opposing error, 
he afterwards asserted the fatal principle of forcible^^QfiidlU), and lent the great weight of his 
authority to the system of civil persecution, at tKebloody fruits of which in the middle age he 
himself would have shuddered ; for he was alw;ays at heart a man of love and gentleness, and 
personally acted on the glorious principle: "Nothing conquers but truth, and the victory of 
tmthislove.'** 

Thus even truly great and good men have unintentionally, through mistaken zeal, become 
the authors of incalculable mischief. 

3. But, on the other hand, Augustin is, of all the fathers, nearest to evangelical Protestantism^ 
and may be called, in respect of his doctrinfe of sin and grace, the first forerunner of the 
Reformation. The Lutheran and Reformed churches have ever conceded to him, without 
scruple, the cognomen of Saint, and claimed him as one of the most enlightened witnesses of 
the trath and most striking examples of the marvellous power of divine grace in the transfor- 
mation of a sinner. It is worthy of mark, that his Pauline doctrines, which are most nearly 

' Hence the famous word : "Roma locuta est, eausafinita eU," which is often quoted as an ai-gument for the modem Vatican dogma 
ofpaittl infallibihty. But it is not found in this form, though we may admit that it is an epigrammatic condensation of sentences of Au- 
pHdn. The nearest approach to it is in his Semto CXXXI. cap. lo, \ xo (Tom. VII. 645) : *'Iam enim eU hoc causa duo coHcilia missa 
^mitmd sedem apostolicam (Rome), ind* etiam rescripta veiurunt. Causa Jinita est, utinam aliquando error finiatur." C^mp. 
toiter, /. c. p. 157. 

* Respecting Augustin's doctrine of baptism, see the thorough discussion in W. Wall's History of Infant Baptism, vol. i. p. 173 sqq. 
)zferd ed. of 1862). His view of the slight condemnation of all unbaptized children contains the germ of the scholastic fancy of the 
mbus infantum and the/dnut damni, as distinct from the lower regions of hell and the/<r«a sensus. 

• In his former writings he expressed a truly philosophical view concerning miracles {De vera relig, c. 25, ^47; c. 50, §98; De 
HIU. credendit c. 16, g 34; De peccat. meritis et remiss. 1. ii. c. 32, \ 52, and De civit. Dei, xxii. c. 8) ; but in his Retract. I. i. c. 14, 
$, be corrects or modifies a former remark in his book De utilit. credendi, stating that he did not mean to deny the continuance of 
oracles altogether, but only such great miracles as occurred at the time of Christ (" quia non tanta nee omnia, non quia nulla fiunt "). 
« O. Hist. III. ^87 and 88, and the instructive monograph of the younger Nitzsch : Augustinus* Lehre vom H^'under, Berlin, 1865 
7 PP). 

« See Ok. Hist. III. ^§81 and 8a. 

• Comp. Tract, in Evang.Joannis, viii. c. 9, where he says : **Cur ergo *it matri filius : Quid mihi et tibi est, mulierf nondum 
'mst kara mea (John it. 4). Dominus noster Jesus ChHstus et Deus erat et homo : secundum quod Deus erat, mat rem non kabebat : 
cuasdmm quod homo erat, kabebat. Mater ergo [Maria] erat camis, mater humanitatis, mater infirmitatis quam suscepit propter 
w." This strict separation of the Godhead from the manhood of Jesus in his birth from the Virgin would have exposed Augustin 

the East to the suspicion of Nestorianism. But he died a year before the council of Ephesus, at which Nestorius was con- 
anned. 

* See Ck. Hist. III. { 27, p. 144 sq. He changed his view partly from his experience that the Donatists, in hb own diocese, were con. 
rted to the catholic unity " timore legum imperialium," and were afterwards perfectly good Catholics. He adduces also a misinter. 
etation of Luke xiv. 33, and Prov. ix. 9 : **Da sapienti occasionem et sapientior erit." Ep. qSt ad yincentium Rogatistam, \\i 
IB. ii. p. 9yiv\. ed. Bened.). But he expressly discouraged the infliction of death on heretics, and abjured the proconsul Donatua 
K soo^ by Jesui Christ, not to repay the Donatists in kind. '' Corrigi eos cupimus, non necari,'* 






22 PROLEGOMENA. 



akin to Protestantism, are the later and more mature parts of his system, and that just thfise 
found great acceptance with the laity. The Pelagian controversy, in which he developed Yfk 
anthropology, marks the culmination of his theological and ecclesiastical career, and his latest 
writings were directed against the Pelagian Julian and the Semi-Pelagians in Gaul, who woe 
brought to his notice by two friendly laymen. Prosper and Hilary. These anti-Pelagian 
works have wrought mightily, it is most true, upon the Catholic church, and have held in 
check the Pelagianizing tendencies of the hierarchical and monastic system, but they have 
never passed into its blood and marrow. They waited for a favourable future, and nourished 
in silence an opposition to the prevailing system. 

In the middle age the better sects, which attempted to simplify, purify, and spiritualize thfc 
reigning Christianity by return to the Holy Scriptures,- and the Reformers before the Reforma* 
tion, such as Wiclif, Hus, Wessel, resorted most, after the apostle Paul, to the bishop of Hippo' 
as the representative of the doctrine of free grace. 

The Reformers were led by his writings intj a deeper understanding of Paul, and so pre- 
pared for their great vocation. No church teacher did so much to mould Luther and Calvin ; 
none furnished them so powerful weapons against the dominant Pelagian ism and formalism ; 
none is so often quoted by them with esteem and love.^ 

All the Reformers in the outset, Melanchthon and Zwingle among them, adopted his denial 
of free will and his doctrine of predestination, and sometimes even went beyond him into the' 
abyss of supralapsarianism, to cut out the last roots of human merit and boasting. In this point 
Augustin holds the same relation to the Catholic church, as Luther to the Lutheran ; that is, he 
is a heretic of unimpeachable authority, who is more admired than censured even in his ex- 
travagances ; yet his doctrine of predestination was indirectly condemned by the pope in Jan- 
senism, as Luther's view was rejected as Calvinism by the Formula of Concord.* For Jansenism 
was nothing but a revival of Augustinianism in the bosom of the Roman Catholic church.* 



1 LuTHBK pronounced upon the church fathers (with whom, however, excepting Augustin, he was but slightly acquainted) 
condemnatory judgments, even upon liasil, Chrysostom, and Jerome (for Jerome he had a downright antipathy, on account of his advo- 
cacy of fasts, virginity, and monkery) ; he was at times dissatisfied even with Augustin, because he aAcr all did not find in him his u^im 
fide, his articulus stantis xtel catUntU eccUsia, and says of him : " Augustin often erred ; he cannot be trusted. Though he was good 
and holy, yet he, as well as other fathers, was wanting in the true faith." But this cursory utterance is overborne by numerous com- 
mendations : and all such judgments of Luther must be taken cum grano soil's. He calls Augustin the most pious, grave, and sincere 
of the fathers, and the patron of divines, who taught a pure doctrine and submitted it in Christian humility to the Holy Scriptures, etc., 
and he thinks, if he had lived in the sixteenth century, he would have been a Protestant {si hoc seculo riverei, noifiscum sentirei)^ while 
Jerome would have gone with Rome. Q>mpare his singular but striking judgments on the fathers in Lutheri Colioquia, ed. H. E. 
Bindseil, 1863, tom. iii. 149, and many other places. Ganuauf, a Roman Catholic (a pupil of the philosopher GUnther), concedes (/. r. 
p. 28, note 13) that Luther and Calvin built their doctrinal system mainly on Augustin, but, as he correctly thinks, with only partial 
right. NoiiRRissoN, likewise a Roman Catholic, derives Protestantism from a corrupted (!) Augustinianism, and very superficially 
makes Lutheranism and Calvinism essentially to consist in the denial of the freedom of the will, which was only one of the questioas 
of the Reformation. **On nr saurait le miconnaitre , de P Augusiinianisme corrom^u, mats enfin de V Augustinianisme procide U 
Protestantisme . Car, sans farUr de li'kli/ ct de I/uss, gut, nourris de saint Augustin, soutienncnt, avec le reaiisme platonicUn^ 
la doctrine de la predestination : Luther et Calrrin ne font guire autre chose, dans leurs frincipaux ou7tragef, que cultiver de* 
sentences cT Augustin i an is tne" (I c. ii. p. 176). But the Reformation is far more, of course, than a repristination of an old contro- 
versy ; it is a new creation, and marks the epoch of modem Christianity which is different both from the medixval and from ancient or 
patristic Christianity. 

> It is well known that Lithhr, as late as 1526, in his work, De serr/o arfiitrio, against Erasmus, which he never retracted, pro- 
ceeded upon the most rigorous notion of the divine omnipotence, wholly denied the freedom of the will, declared it a mere lie {merMm 
tnendacium), pronounced the calls of the Scriptures to repentance a divine irony, and based eternal salvation and eternal perdition upon 
the secret will of God ; in all this he almost exceeded Calvin. See particulars in the books on doctrine-historj' ; the inaugural disserta- 
tion of Jul. Mui.leh : Lutheri de pra:destinatione et libcro arbitrio doctrina, Gott. 1832 ; and a historical treatise on predestination 
by Carl Beck in the *'Studien und Kritiken" for 1847. We add, as a curiosity, the opinion of Gibbon (ch. xxxiii), who, however, 
had a very limiti^ and superficial knowledge of Augustin : •* The rigid system of Christianiry which he framed or restored, has been 
entertained, with public applause, and secret relucta'hce, by the Latin church. 1 he church of Rome has canoni2ed .Augustin, and rep- 
robated Calvin. Vet as the real difference between them is invisible even to a theological microscope, the Molinists are oppressed by 
the authority of the saint, and the Jansenists are disgraced by their resemblance to the heretic. In the mean while the Protestant Ar- 
minians stand aloof, and deride the mutual perplexity of the disputants. Perhaps a reasoner, still more independent, may smile in hit 
turn when he peruses an Arminian commentary on the Epistle to the Romans." Nourrisson (ii. 179), from his Roman stand-point, 
likewise makes Lutheranism to consist *' essentiellentent elans la question du libre arbitre." But the principle of Lutheranism, and 
of Protestantism generally, is the supremacy of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith, and salvation by free grace through faith in Christ. 

* On the mighty influence of Augustin in the seventeenth century in France, especially on the noble Jansenists, see the works 00 
Jansenism, and also Nourrisson, /. c. tom. ii. pp. 186-276. 



PROLEGOMENA. 23 



The excess of Augustin and the Reformers in this direction is due to the earnestness and 
energy of their sense of sin and grace. The Pelagian looseness could never beget a reformer. 
It was only the unshaken conviction of man's own inability, of unconditional dependence on 
God, and of the almighty power of his grace to give us strength for every good work, which 
could do this. He who would give others the conviction that he has a divine vocation for the 
church and for mankind, must himself be penetrated with the faith of an eternal, unalterable 
decree of God, and must cling to it in the darkest hours. 

In great men, and only in great men, great opposites and apparently antagonistic truths live 
together. Small minds cannot hold them. The catholic, churchly, sacramental, and sacerdotal 
system stands in conflict with the evangelical Protestant Christianity of subjective, personal 
experience. The doctrine of universal baptismal regeneration, in particular, which presupposes 
a universal call (at least within the church), can on principles of logic hardly be united with the 
doctrine of an absolute predestination, which limits the decree of redemption to a portion of 
the baptized. Augustin supposes, on the one hand, that every baptized person, through the 
inward operation of the Holy Ghost, which accompanies the outward act of the sacrament, receives 
the forgiveness of sins, and is translated from the state of nature into the state of grace, and 
thus, qua baptizatusy is also a child of God and an heir of eternal life ; and yet, on the other 
handy he makes all these benefits dependent on the absolute will of God, who saves only a 
certain number out of the ** mass of perdition,** and preserves these to the end. Regeneration 
and election, with him, do not, as with Calvin, coincide. The former may exist without the 
latter, but the latter cannot exist without the former. Augustin assumes that many are actually 
bom into the kingdom of grace only to perish again ; Calvin holds that in the case of the 
non-elect baptism is an unmeaning ceremony ; the one putting the delusion in the inward effect, 
the other in the outward form. The sacramental, churchly system throws the main stress upon 
the baptismal regeneration, to the injury of the eternal election ; the Calvinistic or Puritan 
SjTStem sacrifices the virtue of the sacrament to the election ; the Lutheran and high Anglican 
systems seek a middle ground, without being able to give a satisfactory theological solution 
of the problem. The Anglican Church, however, allows the two opposite views, and sanctions 
the one in the baptismal service of the Book of Common Prayer, the other in her Thirty-nine 
Articles, and other standards, as interpreted by the low chiurch or evangelical party in a moder- 
ately Calvinistic sense. 

It was an evident ordering of God, that Augustin's theology, like the Latin Bible of 
Jerome, appeared just in that transitional p)eriod of history, in which the old civilization was 
passing away before the flood of barbarism, and a new order of things, under the guidance of 
the Christian religion, was in preparation. The church, with her strong, imposing organization 
and her firm system of doctrine, must save Christianity amidst the chaotic turmoil of the great 
migration, and must become a training-school for the barbarian nations of the middle age.* 

In this process of training, next to the Holy Scriptures, the scholarship of Jerome and the 
theology and fertile ideas of Augustin were the most important intellectual agents. 

* GviZOT, Ihc Protestant historian and statesman, very correctly says in hi* Histoire f^hiiraie de la civilisation en Europe 
Deoxl^ne lecoo, p. 45 sq. ed. Bruxelles, 18501 : "S^il n'efit pas ite unt iglise^je n* sais ce qui en serait avenu au milieu de la chute 
de Fempir* rvmain. . . . Si le ckrtstianisme n'eut eti comme dans les premiers temps y qu'une croyance, un sentiment, une coH' 
victiam indivtduelle, ompeut croire qu'il aurait succombi au milieu de la dissolution de t empire ct de rinr*asion des barhares. II a 
succemhi plus tard, en Asie et dans tous le nord de l' A/rique^ sous une inziasion de mime nature, sous V invasion des harbares mus- 
uimans : il a succombi aiors, quoiquil/ut a fitat d' institution, ttiglise constitute. A hien plus forte raison le mime fait aurait /» 
arriver au moment de la chute de r empire remain, II n'y avail alors aucun des moyens par lesquels aujourd hui les influences 
9toriU€s g* Hablissent ou risistent indipendamment des institutions, aucun des moyens par lesquels une pure verite, une pure idie 
mcquiert ungrand empire sur les esprits,gouveme les actions, ditermine des rr'enemens. Rien de semblable n'existait au IV* siicle^ 
pourdonner aux idies, aux sentiments personels , une pareille autorite. II est clair qu'il /allait une sociiti fortement organisie, 
/ortement gonvemee , pour lutter centre un pareil desastre, pour sortir victorieuse d'un tel nuragan. Je ne crois pas trop dire en 
ajffSrmastt qu'^ lafln du IV* et au commencement du l^ siicle, c'est Ciglise chritienne qui a sauve le christianisme : c'est Cegliseavec 
see institutions, see magistrats, sonpouvoir, qui s'est de/endue vigoureusement conire la dissolution intirieure de C empire, contre la 
harharie^ qui a conquis lee barbares, qui est detinue le lien, le moyen, le principe de civilisation entre le monde romain et le mondi 
hetrbare." 



24 PROLEGOMENA. 



Augustin was held in so universal esteem that he could exert influence in all directions, and 
even in his excesses gave no offence. He was sufficiently catholic for the principle of church 
authority, and yet at the same time so free and evangelical that he modified its hierarchical and 
sacramental character, reacted against its tendencies to outward, mechanical ritualism, and kept 
alive a deep consciousness of sin and grace, and a spirit of fervent and truly Christian piety, 
until that spirit grew strong enough to break the shell of hierarchical tutelage, and enter a new 
stage of its development. No other father could have acted more beneficently on the Catholi« 
cism of the ymiddle age, and more successfully provided for the evangelical Reformation than 
St. Augustin, the worthy successor of Paul, and the precursor of Luther and Calvin. 

He had lived at the time of the Reformation, he would in all probability have taken the 
lead of the evangelical movement against the prevailing Pelagianism of the Roman Church, 
though he would not have gone so far as Luther or Calvin. For we must not forget that, 
notwithstanding their strong affinity, there is an important difference between Catholicism 
and Romanism or Popery. They sustain a similar relation to each other as the Judaism of the 
Old Testament dispensation, which looked to, and prepared the way for, Christianity, and 
the Judaism after the crucifixion and after the destruction of Jerusalem, which is antagonistic to 
Christianity. Catholicism covers the entire ancient and mediaeval history of the church, and 
includes the Pauline, Augustinian, or evangelical tendencies which increased with the corrup- 
tions of the papacy and the growing sense of the necessity of a ** reformatio in capite et membris,^^ 
Romanism proper dates from the council of Trent, which gave it symbolical expression and 
anathematized the doctrines of the Reformation. Catholicism is the strength of Romanism, 
Romanism is the weakness of Catholicism. Catholicism produced Jansenism, Popery con- 
demned it. Popery never forgets and never learns anything, and can allow no change in doc- 
trine (except by way of addition), without sacrificing its fundamental principle of infallibility, 
and thus committing suicide. But Catholicism may ultimately burst the chains of Popery which 
have so long kept it confined, and may assume new life and vigour. 

Such a personage as Augustin, still holding a mediating place between the two great divisions 
of Christendom, revered alike by both, and of equal influence with both, is furthermore a 
welcome pledge of the elevating prospect of a future reconciliation of Catholicism and Protest- 
antism in a higher unity, conserving all the truths, losing all the errors, forgiving all the sins, 
forgetting all the enmities of both. After all, the contradiction between authority and freedom, 
the objeqtive and the subjective, the churchly and the personal, the organic and the individual, 
the sacramental and the experimental in religion, is not absolute, but relative and temporary, 
and arises not so much from the nature of things, as from the deficiencies of man's knowledge 
and piety in this world. These elements admit of an ultimate harmony in the perfect state of 
the church, corresix)nding to the union of the divine and human natures, which transcends the 
limits of finite thought and logical comprehension, and is yet completely realized in the person 
of Christ. They are in fact united in the theological system of St. Paul, who had the highest 
view of the church, as the mystical ** body of Christ," and ** the pillar and ground of the truth," 
and who was at the same time the great champion of evangelical freedom, individual responsi- 
bility, and personal union of the believer with his Saviour. We believe in and hope for one 

HOLY CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH, ONE COMMUNION OF SAINTS, ONE FLOCK, ONE SHEPHERD. 

The more the different churches become truly Christian, the nearer they draw to, Christ, and the 
more they labor for His kingdom which rises above them all, the nearer will they come to one 
another. For Christ is the common head and vital centre of all believers, and the divine har- 
mony of all discordant human sects and creeds. In Christ, says Pascal, one of the greatest 
and noblest disciples of Augustin, In Christ all contradictions are solved. 



CHIEF EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF ST. AUGUSTIN, 



(AS GIVEN, NEARLY, IN THE BENEDICTINE EDITION). 



370- 



371 



372. 

373- 
374. 



A. D. A. D. 

354. Augustin bom at Tagaste, Nov. 13 : his 

parents, Patricius and Monnica; shortly 

afterwards enrolled among the Catechu- 388. 

mens. 

Returns home from studying Rhetoric at 389. 

Madaura, after an idle childhood, and from 

idleness falls into dissipation and sin. 392. 

Patricius dies; Augustin supported at Car* 394. 

thage by his mother, and his friend Romani- 395. 

anus ; forms an illicit connection. 

Birth of his son Adeodatus. 396. 

Cicero's Hortensius awakens in him a strong 

desire for true wisdom. 397. 

He falls into the Manichaean heresy, and 

seduces several of his acquaintances mto it. 398. 

His mother's earnest prayers for him ; she 402. 

is assured of his recovery. 404. 

376. Teaches Grammar at Tagaste ;- but soon 

returns to Carthage to teach Rhetoric — 408. 

gains a prize. 411. 

379. Is recovered from study of Astrology — writes 

his books De pulchro et afiio, 
382. Discovers the Manichaeans to be in error, but 413. 

falls into scepticism. Goes to Rome to teach 

Rhetoric. 417. 

385. Removes to Milan ; his errors gradually 
removed through the teaching of Ambrose, 420. 
but he is held back by the flesh ; becomes 424. 
again a Catechumen. 426. 

386. Studies St. Paul ; converted through a voice 428. 
from heaven ; gives up his profession ; writes 429. 
against the Academics ; prepares for Baptism . 430. 

387. Is baptized by Bishop Ambrose, with his son 



Adeodatus. Death of his mother, Monnica, 
in her fifty-sixth year, at Ostia. 
Aug. revisits Rome, and then returns to 
Africa. Adeodatus, full of promise, dies. 
Aug. against his will ordained Presbyter at 
Hippo by Valerius, its Bishop. 
Writes against the Manichaeans. 
Writes against the Donatists. 
Ordained Assistant Bishop to Valerius, toward 
the end of the year. 

Death of Bishop Valerius. Augustin elected 
his successor. 

Aug. writes the Confessions, and the De 
Tinitate against the Arians. 
Is present at the fourth Council of Carthage. 
Refutes the Epistle of Petilianus, a Donatist. 
Applies to Caecilianus for protection against 
the savageness of the Donatists. 
Writes De urbis Romoe obsidione. 
Takes a prominent part in a conference 
between the Catholic Bishops and the Don- 
atists. 

Begins the composition of his great work 
De Civitate Dei, completed in 426. 
Writes De gestis Palcestince synodi circa 
Pelagium, 

Writes against the Priscillianists. 
Writes against the Semipelagians. 
Appoints Heraclius his successor. 
Writes the Retractations, 
Answers the Epistles of Prosper and Hilary. 
Dies Aug. 28, in the third month of the 
siege of Hippo by the Vandals. 

25 



v 



• •• 

o- -7 - ' 



■■-..' ^> 



/ 



THE CONFESSIONS 

OF 

ST. AUGUSTIN 



TRANSLATED AND ANNOTATED BY 

J. G. PILKINGTON, M.A., 

VICAR OF ST. mark's, WEST HACKNEY; AND SOMETIME CLERICAL SECRETARY OP THB 

BISHOP OP LONDON'S FUND. 



" Thon hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they 
find rest in Thee." — Confessions ^ i. 1. 

" The joy of the solemn service of Thy house constraineth to tears, 
when it is read of Thy young^er son [Luke xv. 24] ' that he was 
dead, and is alive again ; he was lost, and is found.' **—Ibid, viii. 6. 

27 



A SELECT LIBRARY 



OF THE 



NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS 



OF 



THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 



EDITED BY 

PHILIP SCHAFF. D.D., LLD., 

PROFESSOR IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK, 
IN CONNBCTION WITH A NUMBER OP PATRISTIC SCHOLARS OF EUROPE AND AMERICA. 



VOLUME L 

THE CONFESSIONS AND LETTERS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, 
WITH A SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND WORK. 



New York : 

THE CHRISTIAN LITERATURE COMPANY 

1892. 



30 TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 

— IW"! ■.■■Ml !■■■-■ ^ ■■ .-■■! ■ ■ ^ ^^■^»^i^l^^— ^ »■ I ■ ■ ■! 11^1^— ^^»^— ^»^^^^^^ 

further from the truth than this charge. There is here no dwelling on his sin, or painting it so as to satisfy a pru- 
rient imagination. As we have already remarked, Augustin's manner is not to go into detail further than to find a 
position from which to ** edify " the reader, and he treats this episode in his life with his characteristic delicacy and 
reticence. His sin was dead ; and he had carried it to its burial vAth tears of repentance. And when, ten years 
after his baptism, he sets himself, at the request of some, to a consideration of what he then was at the moment of 
making his confessions,^ he refers hardly at all to this sin of his youth ; and such allusions as he does make are of 
the most casual kind. Instead of enlarging upon it, he treats it as past, and only speaks of temptation and sin as 
they are common to all men. Many of the French writers on the Confessions * institute a comparison in this matter 
between the confessions of Augustin and those of Rousseau. Pressensi' draws attention to the delicacy and 
reserve which characterise the one, and the arrogant defiance of God and man manifested in the other. The con- 
fessions of the one he speaks of as ** un grand acte de repentir et d" amour ; " and eloquently says, <* In it he seems, 
like the Magdalen, to have spread his box of perfumes at the foot of the Saviour ; from his stricken heart there 
exhales the incense most agreeable to God — the homage of true penitence." The other he truly describes as 
uttering " a cry of triumph in the very midst of his sin, and robing his shame in a royal purple." Well may Des- 
jardins * express surprise at a book of such foulness coming from a genius so great ; and perhaps his solution of the 
enigma is not far from the truth, when he attributes it to an overweening vanity and egotism.^ 

It is right to point out, in connection with this part of oiu- subject, that in regard to some at least of Augustin's 
self-accusations,^ there may be a little of that pious exaggeration of his sinfulness which, as Lord Macaulay points 
out in his essays on Bunyan,^ frequently characterises deep penitence. But however this may be, justice requires us 
to remember, in considering his transgression, that from his very childhood he had been surrounded by a condition 
of civilisation presenting manifold temptations. Carthage, where he spent a large part of his life, had become, 
since its restoration and colonization under Augustus Caesar, an " exceeding great city," in wealth and importance 
next to Rome.^ "African Paganism," says Pressens^,* "was half Asiatic; the ancient worship of nature, the 
adoration of Astarte, had full licence in the city of Carthage ; Dido had become a mythological being, whom this 
dissolute city had made its protecting divinity, and it is easy to recognise in her the great goddess of Phcenicia under 
a new name." The luxury of the period is described by Jerome and Tertullian, when they denounce the custom 
of painting the face and tiring the head, and the prodigality that would give 25,000 golden crowns for a veil, 
immense revenues for a pair of ear-rings, and the value of a forest or an island for a head-dress.^° And Jerome, in 
one of his epistles, gives an illustration of the Church's relation to the Pagan world at that time, when he represents 
an old priest of Jupiter with his grand-daughter, a catechumen, on his knee, who responds to his caresses by singing 
canticles.^^ It was a time when we can imagine one of Augustin's parents going to the Colosseum, and enjoying 
the lasciviousness of its displays, and its gladiatorial shows, with their contempt of human life ; while the other 
carefully shunned such scenes, as being under the ban of the teachers of the Church." It was an age in which there 
was action and reaction between religion and philosophy ; but in which the power of Christianity was so great in 
its influences on Paganism, that some received the Christian Scriptures only to embody in their phraseology the ideas 
of heathenism. Of this last point Manicha^anism presents an illustration. Now all these influences left their mark 
on Augustin. In his youth he plunged deep into the pleasures of his day ; and we know how he endeavoured to 
find in Manichxanism a solution of those speculations which haunted his subtle and inquiring mind. Augustin at 
this time, then, is not to be taken as a type of what Christianity produced. He is to a great extent the outgrowth of 
the Pagan influences of the time. Considerations such as these may enable us to judge of his early sin more justly 
than if we measured it by our own privileges and opportunities. 

The style of Augustin is sometimes criticised as not having the refinement of Virgil, Horace, or Cicero. But 
it should be remembered that he wrote in a time of national decay ; and further, as Desjardins has remarked in the 
introduction to his e«say, he had no time " to cut his phrases." From the period of his conversion to that of his 
death, he was constantly engaged in controversy with this or that heresy ; and if he did not write with classical 
accuracy, he so inspired the language with his genius, and moulded it by his fire,^' that it appears almost to pulsate 
with the throbbiiigs of his brain. He seems likewise to have despised fnere elegance, for in his Confessions^^ when 



1 Book X. sec. 4. 

s In addition to those referred to, there is one at the beginning of vol. ii. of f>aint-Marc Girardfn's Essau de Litirature et de Morale , 
devoted to this subject. It hjis some good points in it, but has much of that sentimentality so often found in French criticisms. 

• Le Christianisme au QuatrUme Sitcle, p. 269. < Essai sur let Con/., etc. p. la, 

• He concludes : '* La folie de son org-ueil, voilA le mot de rinigme, ou rinigme n'en a/<w." — Ibid. p. 13. 

• Compare Cort/essions , ii. sec. 2, and iii. sec. 1, with iv. sec. a. 

T In vol. i. of his Crit. and Hist. Essays, and also in his Afisceilaneous IVritingv. • Herodian Hist. vii. 6. 

• Le Christianisme, etc. as above, p. 274. >o Quoted by Nourrisson, Philosofhie, etc. ii. 436. ** Itid. ii. 434, 435. 
W See Confessions , iii. sec. 2, note, and vi. sec. 13, note. 

1' See Poujouhit, Lettres de St. Augustin, Introd. p. 12, who compares the language of the time to Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones* 
and says Augu<;tin inspired it with life. 
M Confessions^ v. sec. 10. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 3i 

•peaking of the style of Faustus, he says, " What profit to me was the elegance of my cup-bearer, since he offered 
me not the more precious draught for which I thirsted ? " In this connection the remarks of Collenges ^ are worthy 
of note. He says, when anticipating objections that might be made to his own style : " It was the last of my study ; 
my opinion alwa3rs was what Augustin calls diligens negligentia was the best diligence as to that ; while I was yet a 
very jroong man I had learned out of him that it was no solecism in a preacher to use ossum for os^ for (saith he) an 
iron key is better than one made of gold if it will better open the door, for that is all the use of the key. I had 
learned out of Hierom that a gaudry of phrases and words in a pulpit is but signum insipientuB, • The words of a 
preacher, saith he, ought pungere^ non paipare, to prick the heart, not to smooth and coax. The work of anorat or 
is too precarious for a minister of the gospel. Gregory observed that our Saviour had not styled us the sugar but 
the saU of the earth, and Augustin observeth, that through Cyprian in one epistle showed much of a florid orator, 
to show he could do it, yet he never would do so any more, to show he would not." 

There are several features in the Confessions deserving of remark, as being of special interest to the philosopher, 
the historian or the divine. 

1. Chiefest amongst these is the intense desire for knowledge and the love of truth which characterised Augustin. 
This was noticeable before his conversion in his hungering after such knowledge as Manichaeanism and the philosophy 
of the time could afford. ' It is none the less observable in that better time, when, in his quiet retreat at Cassicia- 
cum, he sought to strengthen the foundations of his faith, and resolved to give himself up to the acquisition of divine 
knowledge.* It was seen, too, in the many conflicts in which he was engaged with Donatists, Manichaeans, Arians, 
and Pelagians, and in his earnest study of the deep things of God. This love of knowledge is perhaps conveyed in 
the beautiful legend quoted by Nourisson,* of the monk wrapped in spirit, who expressed astonishment at not seeing 
Augustin among the elect in heaven. *' He is higher up," he was answered, <* he is standing before the Holy Trinity 
disputing thereon for all eternity." 

While from the time of his conversion we find him holding on to the fundamental doctrines of the faith with 
the tenacity of one who had experienced the hollowness of the teachings of philosophy,^ this passion for truth led 
him to handle most freely subjects of speculation in things non-essential.^ But whether viewed as a controversialist, 
a student of Scripture, or a bishop of the Church of God, he ever manifests those qualities of mind and heart that 
gained for Imc not only the affection of the Church, but the esteem of his unorthodox opponents. To quote Guizot's 
discriminating words, theke was in him " ce milange de passion et de douceur j d^autoriti et de sympathies dUtendue 
d^ esprit et de rigutur logique^ qui lui donnaii un si rare pcuvoir^^ ' 

2. It is to this eager desire for truth in his many-sided mind that we owe those trains of thought that read like 
forecasts of modem opinion. We have called attention to some such anticipations of modem thought as they recur 
in the notes throughout the book ; but the speculations on Memory, Time, and Creation, which occupy so large a 
space in Books Ten and Eleven, deserve more particular notice. The French essayists have entered very fully into 
these questions. M. Saisset, in his admirable introduction to the De Civiiate Deif reviews Augustin^s theories as to 
the mysterious problems connected with the idea of Creation. He says, that in his subtle analysis of Time, and in his 
attempt at reconciling " the eternity of creative action with the dependence of things created, ... he has touched with 
a bold and delicate hand one of the deepest mysteries of the human mind, and that to all his glorious titles he has added 
another, thsCt of an ingenious psychologist and an eminent metaphysician." Desjardins likewise commends the depth 
of Augrustin's speculations as to Time,* and maintains that no one's teaching as to Creation has shown more clear- 
ness, boldness, and vigor — avoiding the perils of dualism on the one hand, and atheism on the other.^^ In his remarks 
on Augustin's disquisitions on the phenomena of Memory, his praise is of a more qualified character. He compares 
his theories with those of Malebranche, and, while recognising the practical and animated character of his descrip- 
tions, thinks him obscure in his delineation of the manner in which absent realities reproduce 'themselves on the 
memory.'* 

We have had occasion in the notes to refer to the Unseen Universe, The authors of this powerfiil "Apologia " for 
Christianity propose it chiefly as an antidote to the materialistic disbelief in the immortality of the soul amongst sci- 
entific men, which has resulted in this age from the recent advance in physical science ; just as in the last century 
English deism had its rise in a similar influence. It is curious, in connection with this part of our subject, to note 



1 Tke Intercourses of Divine Love betwixt Christ and His Churchy Preface (1683). 

• Sec Confessions , iv, sec. i, note. « Ibid. ix. sec. 7, note, and compare x. sec. 55, note. 

* Philosophie, etc. as above, i. 320. * See Confessions^ xiil. sec. 33, note. • Ibid, xi, sec. 3, note 4. 
' Histoire ds la CiviHsation en France, \. 203 (1839). Guizot is speaking of Augustin's attitude in the Pelagian controversy. 

* A portion of this introduction will be found translated in Appendix ii. of M. Saisset's Essay on Religious Philosophy (Clark). 

• Essaif etc. as before, p. 129. *<> Essai, etc. p. 130. 
n Jbiil. pp. i3o^-z33. Nourrisson's criticism of Augustin's views on Memory may well be compared with that of Desjardins. He 

speaks cH the powerful originality of Augustin — who is ingenious as well as new — and says some of his disquisitions are " the most 
admiraUe which have inspired psychological observation." And further, one does not meet in all the books of St. Augustin any 
philosophical theories which have greater depth than that on Memory." — Philosophies etc. as above, i. 133. 



32 TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 

— - ■■ • ■ ■ — 1 I I ,^m II ■ _ - ^_ , ^^^ ^ 

that in leading up to the conduiion at which he arrives, M. Saisset quotes a passage from the Ciiy of Go4} which 
contains an adumbration of the theory of the above work in regazd to the eternity of the invisible universe.* Verily, 
the saying of the wise man is true : ** The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be ; and th^t which is done, is 
that which shall be done : and there is no new thin^ under the sun.'* ' 

3. We have already, in a previous paragraph, briefly adverted to the influence Christianity aud Paganism had one 
on the other. The history of Christianity has been a steady advance on Paganism and Pagan f^iilosophy ; but it can 
hardly be denied that in this advance there has been an absorption — and in some periods in no small degree— i-of 
some of their elements. As these matters have been examined in the notes, we need not do more than refer the 
reader to the Index of Subjects for the evidence to be obtained in this respect from the Comfessiom on such matters 
w Baptism, False Miracles, and Prayers for the Dead. 

4. There is one feature in the Con/essio$u which we should not like to pass unnoticed. A reference to the He^ 
trtuUdotu^ will show that Augustin highly appreciated the spiritual use to which the book might be put in the edifica- 
tion of the brethren. We believe that it will prove most useful in this way ; and spiritual benefit will accrue in prof 
portion to the steadiness of its use. We would venture to suggest that Book X., from section 37 to the end, may be 
pfofitably used as a manual of self-examination. We have pointed out in a note, that in his comment on the 8th 
IWm he makes our Lord's three temptations to be types of all the temptations to which man can be subjected ; and 
makes them correspond in their order, as given by St. Matthew, to ^ the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, 
and the Pride of Life,'' mentioned by St. John.^ Under each of these heads we have, in this part of the Confessions^ 
a most severe examination of conscience ; and the impression is deepened by his allegorically likening the three 
divisions of temptation to the beasts of the field, the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air.* We have already 
remarked, in adverting to allegorical interpretation,^ that where " the strict use of the history is not disregarded," to 
use Augustin's expression, allegorizing, by way of spiritual meditation, may be profitable. Those who employ i| 
with this idea will find their interpretations greatly aided, and made more systematic, by realiring Augustin's methods 
here and in the last two books of the Confessions, — as when he makes the sea to represent the wicked world, and the 
fruitful earth the Church.* 

It only remains to call attention to the principles on which this translation and its annotsUions have been made. 
The text of the Benedictine edition has been followed ; but the head-lines of the chapters are taken from the edition 
of Bruder, as being the more definite and full. After carefully translating the whole of the book, it has been com* 
pared, line by line, with the translation of Watts ' (one of the most nervous translations of the seventeenth century), 
and that of Dr. Pusey, which is confessedly founded upon that of Watts. Reference has also been made, m the 
case of obscure passages, to the French translation of Du Bois, and the English translation of the first Ten Books 
alluded to in the note on Bk. ix. ch. 1 2. The references to Scripture are in the words of the Authorized Version wherever 
the sense will bear it ; and whenever noteworthy variations from our version occur, they are indicated by references 
to the old Italic version, or to the Vulgate. In some cases, where Augustin has clearly referred to the LXX. in 
order to amend his version thereby, such variations are indicated.^* The annotations are, for the most part, such as 
have been derived from the translator's own reading. Two exceptions, however, must be made. Out of upwards of 
four hundred notes, some forty are taken from the annotations in Pusey and Watts, but in every case these have been 
indicated by the initials £. B. P. or W. W. Dr. Pusey's annotations (which will be found chiefly in the 'earlier part 
of this work) consist almost entirely of quotations from other works of Augustin. These annotations are very copious, 
and Dr. Pusey explains that he resorted to this method " partly because this plan of illustnUing St. Augustin out of 
himself had been already adopted by M. Du Bois in his Latin edition . . . and it seemed a pity not to use valuable 
materials ready collected to one's hand. The far greater part of these illustrations are taken from that edition." It 
seemed the most 'pro}ier course, in using such notes of Du Bois as appeared suitable for this edition, to take them 
from Dr. Pusey's edition, and, as above stated, to indicate their source by his initials. A Textual Index has been 
added, for the first time, to this edition, and both it and the Index of Subjects have been prepared with the greatest 
possible care. 

J. G. P. 

&r. Mark's Vicarage, West Hackney, 1876. 



* Book xii. chap. 15. 

t This position is accepted by Leibniti; in his Essais dt T%iodici«. See also M. Saisset, as above, ii. 196-8 (Essay by the translator), 
s Eccles. i. 9. 4 Quoted immediately after this preface. B j John ii. 16. 

• See Con/ession$f v. sec. 4, note, and x. sec. 41, note. T See ihid. vi. sec. 5, note, 
( See Cot^fessions , xiii. sec. ao, note 3, and sec. i\, note z. 

*"St. Augustin's CoH/ession* translated, and with some marginal notes illustrated by William Watts, Rector of St. Alban's, 
Wood St. (1631)." 

10 For whatever our idea may be as to the extent of his knowledge of Greek, it is beyond dispute that he frequently had recourse to 
the Greek of the Old and New Testament with this view. See Nourrisson, Phiiosophi€f etc. ii. p. 96. 



THE OPINION OF ST. AUGUSTIN 



CONCERNING HIS 



CONFESSIONS, AS EMBODIED IN HIS RETRACTATIONS, ii. 6 



I. " The Thirteen Books of my Cotrfessions whether they refer to my evil or good, praise 
the just and good God, and stimulate the heart and mind of man to approach unto Him. And, 
as &r as pertaineth unto me, they wrought this in me when they were written, and this they work 
when they are read. What some think of them they may have seen, but that they have given 
much pleasure, and do give pleasure, to many brethren I know. From the First to the Tenth 
they have been written of m)rself ; in the remaining three, of the Sacred Scriptures, from the 
text, * In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,' even to the rest of the Sabbath 
((Jen. i. I, ii. 2)." 

a. "In the Fourth Book, when I acknowledged the distress of my mind at the death of a 
friend, saying, that our soul, though one, had been in some manner made out of two ; and there- 
fore, I say, perchance was I afraid to die lest he should die wholly whom I had so much loved 
(chap, vi.) ; — this seems to me as if it were a light declamation rather than a grave confession, 
although this folly may in some sort be tempered by that * perchance ' which follows. And in 
the Thirteenth Book (chap, xxxii.) what I said, viz. : that the * firmament was made between the 
spiritual upper waters, and the corporeal lower waters,' was said without due consideration ; but 
the thing is very obscure." 

[In Ep. cid Dariuniy Ep. ccxxxi. c. 6, written a. d. 429, Augustin says: ** Accept, my son, 
the books containing my Confessions which you desired to have. In these behold me that you 
may not praise me more than I deserve ; there believe what is said of me, not by others, but by 
myself; there mark me, and see what I have been in myself, by myself; and if anything in me 
please you, join me in praising Him to whom, and not to myself, I desired praise to be given. 
For * He hath made us, and not we ourselves ' (Ps. 1. 3). Indeed, we had destroyed ourselves, 
but He who made us has made us anew (^/ fecit^ refecii). When, however, you find me in 
these books, pray for me that I may not fail, but be perfected {ru deficiam, sed perficiar). Pray, 
my son, pray. I feel what I say ; I know what I ask." — P. S.] 

\De Done PerseveranticB^ c. 20 (53) : ** Which of my smaller works could be more widely 
known or give greater pleasure than my Confessions ? And although I published them before the 
Pelagian heresy had come into existence, certainly in them I said to my God, and said it 
frequently, 'Give what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wiliest' {Conf. x. 19, 31, 
37). Which words of mine, Pelagius at Rome, when they were mentioned in his presence by 
a certain brother and fellow-bishop of mine, could not bear. . . . Moreover in those same 
books ... I showed that I was granted to the faithful and daily tears of my mother, that 
I should not perish. There certainly I declared that God by His grace converted the will of 
men to the true faith, not only when they had been turned away from it, but even when they 
were opposed to it." — P. S.] 

33 



CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 



BOOK FIRST. 

COMMENCING WITH THE INVOCATION OF GOD, AUGUSTIN RELATES IN DETAIL THE BEGINNING OF HIS 
LIFE, HIS INFANCY AND BOYHOOD UP TO HIS FIFTEENTH YEAR ; AT WHICH AGE HE ACKNOWL- 
EDGES THAT HE WAS MORE INCUNED TO ALL YOUTHFUL PLEASURES AND VICES THAN TO THE 
STUDY OF LETTERS. 

PAG« 

Chafter I. — He proclaims the greatness of God, whom he desires to seek and invoke, being awakened by 

Him, 45 

Chapter II. — ^That the God whom we invoke is in us, and we in Him, '. . 45 

Chapter III. — Everywhere God wholly filleth all things, but neither heaven nor earth containeth Him, . . 46 

Chapter IV. — The majesty of God is supreme, and His virtues inexplicable, 46 

Chapter V. — He seeks rest in God, and pardon of his sins, 46 

Chapter VI. — He descnl)es his infancy, and lauds the protection and eternal providence of God, .... 47 

Chapter VII. — He shoe's by examples that even infancy is prone to sin, 48 

Chapter VIII. — That when a boy he learned to speak, not by any set method, but from the acts and words 

of his parents, 49 

Chapter IX. — Concerning the hatred of learning, the love of play, and the fear of being whipped notice- 
able in boys ; and of the folly of our elders and masters, 49 

Chapter X. — ^Through a love of ball-playing and shows, he neglects his studies and the injunctions of his 

parents, $0 

Chapter XI. — Seized by disea.<;e, his mother being troubled, he earnestly demands baptism, which on re- 
covery is postponed — his father not as yet believing in Christ, $0 

Chapter XII. — Being compelled, he gave his attention to learning, but fully acknowledges that this was the 

work of God, 50 

Chapter XIII. — lie delighted in Latin studies, and the empty fables of the poets, but hated the elements 

of hterature and the Greek language, 51 

Chapter XIV. — Why he despised Greek literature, and easily learned Latin, 5 1 

Chapter XV. — He entreats God, that whatever useful things he learned as a boy may be dedicated to Him, 52 
Chapter XVI. — He disapproves of the mode of educating youth, and he points out why wickedness is 

attnbuted to the gods by the poets, 5^ 

Chapter XVII. — He continues on the unhappy method of training youth in literary subjects, 53 

Chapter XVIII. — Men desire to obscr\'e the rules of learning, but neglect the eternal rules of everlasting 

safety, S3 



BOOK SECOND. 



HE ADVANCES TO PUBERTY, AND INDEED TO THE EARLY PART OF THE SIXTEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE, 
IN WHICH, HAVING ABANDONED HIS STUDIES, HE INDULGED IN LUSTFUL PLEASURES, AND, WITH 
HIS COMPANIONS, COMMITTED THEFT. 

Chapter I. — He deplores the wickedness of his youth, 55 

Chapter II. — Stricken with exceeding grief, he remembers the dissolute passions in which, in his sixteenth 

year, he used to indulge 55 

Chapter III. — Concerning his father, a freeman of Thagaste, the assister of his son's studies, and on the 

admonitions of his mother on the preservation of chastity, 5^ 

3S 



36 CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 

TAOm 

Chapter IV. — He commits theft with his companions, not urged on by poverty, but from a certain distaste 

for well-doing 57 

Chapter V. — Concerning the motives to sin, which are not in the love of evil, but in the desire of obtaining 

the property of others 57 

Chapter VI. — Why he delighted in that theft, when all things which under the appearance of good invite 

to vice, are true and perfect in God alone, 58 

Chapter VII. — He gives thanks to God for the remission of his sins, and reminds every one that the 

Supreme God may have preserved us from greater sins, 59 

Chapter VIII. — In his theft he loved the company of his fellow-sinners, 59 

Chapter IX. — It was a pleasure to him also to laugh when seriously deceiving others, 59 

Chapter X. — ^With God there is true rest and life unchanging, 59 



BOOK THIRD. 



OF THE seventeenth, EIGHTEENTH, AND NINETEENTH YEARS OF HIS AGE, PASSED AT CART|IAGE, 
WHEN, HAVING COMPLETED HIS COURSE OF STUDIES, HE IS CAUGHT IN THE SNARES OF A LI- 
CENTIOUS PASSION, AND FALLS INTO THE SNARES OF THE MANICHiCANS. 

Chapter I. — Deluded by an insane love, he, though foul and dishonourable, desires to be thought elegant 

and urbane, 60 

Chapter II. — In public spectacles he is moved by an empty compassion. He is attacked by a troublesome 

spiritual disease 60 

Chapter III. — Not even when at church does he suppress his desires. In the school of Rhetoric he abhon 

the acts of subverters, 6e 

Chapter IV. — In the nineteenth year of his age (his father having died two years before) he is led by the 

Hortensiut of Cicero to philosophy, to God, and a better mode of thinking, 61 

Chapter V. — He rejects the Sacred Scriptures as too simple, and as not to be compared with the dignity of 

TuUy 62 

Chapter VI. — Deceived by his own fault, he falls into the errors of the Manich^eans, who gloried in the 

true knowledge of God, and in a thorough examination of things, 6s 

Chapter VII. — He attacks the doctrine of the Manichxans concerning evil. God, and the righteousness 

of the patriarchs, 63 

Chapter VIII. — He argues c^inst the same as to the reason of offences, 65 

Chapter IX. — That the judgment of God and men as to human acts of violence is different, 66 

Chapter X. — He reproves the triflings of the Manichxans as to the fruits of the earth, 66 

Chapter XI. — He refers to the tears and the memorable dream concerning her son, granted by God to his 

mother, 66 

Chapter XII. — ^The excellent answer of the bishop when referred to by his mother as to the conversion of 

her son 67 



BOOK FOURTH. 



THEN FOLLOWS A PERIOD OF NINE YEARS FROM THE NINETEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE, DURING WHICH, 
HAVING LOST A FRIEND, HE FOLLOWED THE MANICHiGANS — AND WROTE BOOKS ON THE FAIR AND 
FIT, AND PUBLISHED A WORK ON THE LIBERAL ARTS, AND THE CATEGORIES OF ARISTOTLE. 

Chapter I. — Concerning that most unhappy time in which he, being deceived, deceived others ; and con- 
cerning the mockers of his confession, 68 

Chapter II. — He teaches rhetoric, the only thing he loved, and scorns the soothsayers who promised him 

victory, 68 

Chapter III. — Not even the most experienced men could persuade him of the vanity of astrology, to which 

he was devoted, 69 

Chapter IV. — Sorely dij^tressed by weeping at the death of his friend, he provides consolation for himself, . 70 

Chapter V. — ^Why weeping is pleasant to the wretched, 71 



CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 37 

■1^ ■ ■' '■ - ■■ ■ . . I , ■ — - 

PAOB 

Chapter VI. — His friend being snatched away by death, he imagines that he remains only as half, ... Jl 

Chapter VI L — ^Troubled by restlessness and grief, he leaves his country a second time for Carthage, ... 71 

Chapter VIII. — That his grief ceased by time, and the consolation of friends, 72 

Chapter IX. — ^That the love of a human being, however constant in loving and returning love, perishes; 

while he who loves God never loses a friend, 72 

Chapter X. — ^That all things exist that they may perish, and that we are not safe unless God watches 

over us, 73 

Chapter XI. — ^That portions of the world are not to be loved; but that God, their Author, is immutable, and 

His word eternal, .- 73 

Chapter XII. — Love is not condemned, but love in God, in whom there is rest through Jesus Christ, is to 

be preferred 73 

Chapter XIII. — Love originates from grace and beauty enticing us, 74 

Chapter XIV. — Concerning the books which he wrote "on the Fair and Fit,*' dedicated to Hierius, ... 74 
Chapter XV. — ^While writing, being blinded by corporeal images, he failed to recognise the spiritual nature 

of God, 75 

Chapter XVI. — He very easily understood the liberal arts and the categories of Aristotle, but without true 

fruit, 77 



BOOK FIFTH. 



HE DESCRIBES THE TWENTY-NINTH YEAR OF HIS AGE, IN WHICH, HAVING DISCOVERED THE FALLA- 
CIES OF THE BfANICHiEANS, HE PROFESSED RHETORIC AT ROME AND MILAN. HAVING HEARD 
AMBROSE, HE BEGINS TO COME TO HIMSELF. 

Chapter I. — ^That it becomes the soul to praise God, and to confess unto Him, 79 

Chapter II. — On the vanity of those who wish to escape the Omnipotent God, 79 

Chapter III. — Having heard Faustus, the most learned bishop of the Manichaeans, he discerns that God, 

the Author both of things animate and inanimate, chiefly has care for the humble, 80 

Chapter IV. — That the knowledge of teirestrial and celestial things does not give happiness, but the knowl- 
edge of God only, 81 

Chapter V. — Of Manichaeus pertinaciously teaching false doctrines, and proudly arrogating to himself the 

HolySpirit, 81 

Chapter VI. — Faustus was indeed an elegant speaker, but knew nothing of the liberal sciences, 82 

Chapter VII. — Clearly seeing the fallacies of the Manichaeans, he retires from them, being remarkably aided 

by God, 83 

Chapter VIII. — He sets out for Rome, his mother in vain lamenting it, 84 

Chapter IX. — Being attacked by fever, he is in great danger, 84 

Chapter X. — ^When he had left the Manichaeans, he retsuned his depraved opinions concerning God, sin, 

and the origin of the Saviour 85 

Chapter XI. — Helpidius disputed well against the Manichaeans as to the authenticity of the New Testa- 
ment, 87 

Chapter XII. — Professing rhetoric at Rome, he discovers the fraud of his scholars, 87 

Chapter XIII. — He is sent to Milan, that he, about to teach rhetoric, may be known by Ambrose, .... 87 
Chapter XIV. — Having heard the Bishop, he perceives the force of the Catholic faith, yet doubts, after the 

manner of the modem Academics, 88 



BOOK SIXTH. 



ATTAINING HIS THIRTIETH YEAR, HE, X7NDER THE ADMONITION OP THE DISCOURSES OF AMBROSE, 
DISCOVERED MORE AND MORE THE TRUTH OF THE CATHOUC DOCTRINE, AND DELIBERATES AS 
TO THE BETTER REGULATION OF HIS LIFE. 

Chapter I. — His mother having followed him to Milan, declares that she will not die before her son shall 

hsve embraced the Catholic faith, 89 

CBaftbr II. — She, on the prohibition of Ambrose, afastainf from honouring the memory of the martyn, . • 90 



38 CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 

PAGX 

Chapter III. — ^As Ambrose was occupied with business and study, Augustin could seldom consult him 

concerning the Holy Scriptures, 91 

Chapter IV. — He recognises the fabity of his own opinions, and commits to memory the saying of Ambrose, 91 
Chapter V. — Faith is the basis of human life; man cannot discover that truth which Holy Scripture has 

disclosed, 92 

Chapter VI. — On the source and cause of true joy, — the example of the joyous beggar being adduced, . . 93 

Chapter VII. — He leads to reformation his friend Alypius, seized with madness for the Circensian games, . ' 94 
Chapter VIII. — The same when at Rome, being led by others into the Amphitheatre, is delighted with the 

gladiatorial games, . . . , 95 

Chapter IX. — Innocent Alypius, being apprehended as a thief, is set at liberty by the cleverness of an 

architect, 96 

Chapter X. — The wonderful integrity of Alypius in judgment. The lasting friendship of Nebridius with 

Augustin, 97 

Chapter XL — Being troubled by his grievous errors, he meditates entering on a new life, 98 

Chapter XII. — Disqussion with Alypius concerning a life of celibacy, 98 

Chapter XIII. — Being luged by his mother to take a wife, he sought a maiden that was pleasing unto him, 99 

Chapter XIV. — The design of establishing a common household with his friends is speedily hindered, . . 99 

Chapter XV. — He dismisses one mistress, and chooses another, lOO 

Chapter XVI. — ^The fear of death and judgment called him, believing in the immortality of the soul, back 

from his wickedness, him who aforetime believed in the opinions of Epicurus, lOO 



BOOK SEVENTH. 



HE RECALLS THE BEGINNING OF HIS YOUTH, Le. THE THIRTY-FIRST YEAR OF HIS AGE, IN WHICH 
VERY GRAVE ERRORS AS TO THE NATURE OF GOD, AND THE ORIGIN OF EVIL, BEING DISTIN- 
GUISHED, AND THE SACRED BOOKS MORE ACCURATELY KNOWN, HE AT LENGTH ARRIVES AT A 
CLEAR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, NOT YET RIGHTLY APPREHENDING JESUS CHRIST. 

Chapter I, — He regarded not God, indeed, under the form of a human body, but as a corporeal substance 

diffused through space, I02 

Chapter II. — The disputation of Nebridius against the Manichseans on the question, '* Whether God be 

corruptible or incorruptible ? " ! 103 

Chapter III. — That the cause of evil is the free judgment of the will, I03 

Chapter IV. — ^That God is not corruptible, who, if He were, would not be God at all, 104 

Chapter V. — Questions concerning the origin of evil in regard to God, who, since He is the chief good, 

cannot be the cause of evil, 104 

Chapter VI. — He refutes the divinations of the astrologers deduced from the constellations, 105 

Chapter VII. — He is severely exerci.sed as to the origin of evil, 106 

Chaiter VIII. — By God*s assistance he by degrees arrives at the truth, 107 

Chapter IX. — He compares the doctrine of the Platonists concerning the \6yoq with the much more ex- 
cellent doctrine of Christianity, X07 

CHAinrER X. — Divine things are the more clearly manifested to him who withdraws into the recesses of his 

heart, 109 

Chapter XI. — That creatures are mutable and God alone immutable 110 

Chapter XII. — Whatever things the good God has created are very good, iio 

Chapter XIII. — It is meet to praise the Creator for the good things which are made in heaven and earth, . no 
Chapter XIV. — Being displeased with some part of God's creation, he conceives of two original sub- 
stances, Ill 

Chapter XV. — Whatever is, owes its being to God, Hi 

Chapter XVI. — Evil arises not from a substance, but from the perversion of the will, Ill 

Chapter XV^II. — Above his changeable mind, he discovers the unchangeable Author of Truth, Ill 

Chapter XVIII. — ^Jesus Christ, the Mediator, is the only way of safety, 112 

Chapter XIX. — He does not yet fully understand the saying of John, "That the Word was made flesh," . 112 

Chapter XX. — He rejoices that he proceeded from Plato to the Holy Scriptures, and not the reverse, . • 113 

Chapter XXI. — What he found in the sacred books which are not to be found in Plato, II4 



CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 39 

BOOK EIGHTH. 

HE FINALLY DESCRIBES THE THIRTY-SECOND YEAR OF HIS AGE, THE MOST MEMORABLE OP HIS 
WHOLE LIFE, IN WHICH, BEING INSTRUCTED BY SIMPLICIANUS CONCERNING THE CONVERSION OF 
OTHERS, AND THE MANNER OF ACTING, HE IS» AFTER A SEVERE STRUGGLE, RENEWED IN HIS 
WHOLE MIND» AND IS CONVERTED UNTO GOD. 

Chapter I. — He, now given to divine things, and yet entangled by the lusts of love, consults Simplicianus 

in reference to the renewing of his mind 1x6 

Chafteii II. — ^The pious old man rejoices that he read Plato and the Scriptures, and tells him of the rhet- 
orician Victorinus having been converted to the faith through the reading of the sacred books, .... 1x7 
Chapter III. — ^That God and the angels rejoice more on the return of one sinner than of many just persons, 119 
Chapter IV. — He shows by the example of Victorinus that there is more joy in the conversion of nobles, . 119 

Chapter V. — Of the causes which alienate us from God, lao 

Chapter VI.— Pontitianus* account of Antony, the founder of Monachism, and of some who imitated him, lai 
Chapter VII. -^He deplores his wretchedness, that having been bom thirty-two years, he had not yet found 

the truth, 123 

Chapter VIII. — ^The conversation with Alypius being ended, he retires to the garden, whither his fHend 

follows him, 124. 

Chapter IX. — That the mind commandeth the mind, but it willeth not entirely, 125 

Chapter X. — He refutes the opinion of the Manichseans as to two kinds of minds, one good and the other 

evil, 125 

Chapter XL — In what manner the Spirit struggled with the flesh, that it might be freed from the bondage 

of vanity, 126 

Chapter XII. — Having prayed to God, he pours forth a shower of tears, and, admonished by a voice, he 
opens the book and read$ the words in Rom. xiii. 13 ; by which, being changed in his whole soul, he 
discloses the divine favour to his frieiid and his mother, 127 



BOOK NINTH. 



HE SPEAKS OF HIS DESIGN OF FORSAKING THE PROFESSION OF RHETORIC ; OF THE DEATH OF HIS 
FRIENDS, NEBRIDIUS AND VERECUNDUS ; OF HAVING RECEIVED BAPTISM IN THE THIRTY-THIRD 
YEAR OF HIS AGE ; AND OF THE VIRTUES AND DEATH OF HIS MOTHER MONICA. 

Chapter I. — ^He praises God, the author of safety, and Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, acknowledging his own 

wickedness, 129 

Chapter II. — ^As his lungs were affected, he meditates withdrawing himself from public favour, 129 

Chapter III. — He retires to the villa of his friend Verecundus, who was not yet a Christian, and refers to 

his conversion and death, as well as that of Nebridius, 130 

Chapter IV. — In the country he gives his attention to literature, and explains the fourth P^alm in connec- 
tion with the happy conversion of Alypius. He is troubled with toothache, 13Z 

Chapter V. — At the recommendation of Ambrose, he reads the prophecies of Isaiah, but does not under- 
stand them, 133 

Chapter VI. — He is baptized at Milan with Alypius and his son Adeodatus ; the book De Magistro, . . . 133 
Chapter VII. — Of the Church hymns instituted at Milan; of the Ambrosian persecution raised by Justina; 

and of the discovery of the bodies of two martyrs, 134 

Chapter VIII. — Of the conversion of Evodius ; and the death of his mother when returning with him to 

Africa; and whose education he tenderly relates, 135 

Chapter IX. — He describes the praiseworthy habits of his mother ; her kindness towards her husband and 

her sons, 136 

Chapter X. — A conversation he had with his mother concerning the kingdom of heaven, 137 

Chapter Xt. — His mother, attacked by fever, dies at Ostia, 138 

Chapter XIII. — How he mourned his dead mother, X39 

Chapter XIII. — He entr^Us God for her sinS| and admonishes his readprs to jrememb^ her piously, . . • 140 



40 CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 

BOOK TENTH. 

HAVING MANIFESTED WHAT HE WAS AND WHAT HE IS, HE SHOWS THE GREAT FRUIT OF HIS CONFESSION; 

AND BEli^G ABOUT T6 kXAMlNE BY WHAT METHOD GOD AND tHE HAPPY LIFE MAY Bfe FOUND, HE 

ENLARGES ON THE NAtURE AND POWER Ot MEMORY. THEN HE EXAMINES HIS oWN ACTS, tHOUGHTS, 

AND AFFECTIONS, VlE^feD U^DkR THE THREEFOLD DIViStOH OF TEMPTATIOI* ; AND COMMEMORATES 

THE LORD, THE ONE MEDIATOR OF GOD AND MEN. 

PACK 

Chapter I. — In God alone is the hope and joy of man, i 141 

Chapter II. — That all things are manifest to God. That confession unto Him is not made by the words 

of the flesh, but of the soul, and the cry of reflection, I4t 

Chaffer III. — He who confesseth rightly unto God best knoweth himself, 142 

CkAPTER IV. — That In his Confessions he may do good, he considers others, 143 

ChAPTER V. — That man knoweth not himself wholly, ....*. 143 

'tiAPTER VI. — The love of God, in His nature superior to all creatures, is acquired by the knowledge of 

the senses and the exercise of reason, 144 

Chapter VII. — That God is to be found neither from the powers of the body nor of the soul, .... 145 

Chapter VIII. — Of the nature and thie amazing power of memory, 145 

Chapter IX. — Not only all things, but also literature and images, are taken from the memory, and are 

brought forth by the act of remembering, 146 

CtfAFFER X. — Literature is not introduced to the memory through the senses, but is brought forth frotti 

its more secret places, 146 

Chapter XL— What it is to learn and to think, 147 

Chapter XII. — On the recollection of things mathematical 147 

CkAPTER XIIL— Memory retains all things, 147 

Chapter XlV.^-Concerning the manner in which joy and sadness may be brought back to the mind and 

memory, I47 

Chapter XV. — In memory there are also images of things which are absent, 148 

Chapter XVL'^The privitation of memory is forgetfulness, » . . . 148 

Chapter XVIL — God cannot be attained unto by the power of memory, which beflsts and birds possess, . 149 

Chapter XVIII. — A thing when lost could not be found unless it were retained in the memory, .... 149 

Chapter XIX. — What it is to remember, , 150 

Chapter XX.— We should not seek for God and the happy life unless we had known it, 150 

Chapter XXI. — How a happy life may be retained in the memory, 150 

Chapter XXH.— A happy life is to rejoice in God, and for God, 151 

Chapter XXni.— All wish to rejoice in the Truth, iSt 

Chapter XXIV.— He who finds truth, finds God, 152 

Chapter XXV. — He is glad that God dwells In his memory, 152 

Chaffer XX VL — God everywhere answers those who take counsel of Him, 152 

Chapier XXVH. — He grieves that he was so long without God, 152 

Chaffer XXVIIL — On the misery of human life, 153 

Chapter XXIX.— All hope is in the mercy of God, IS3 

Chapter XXX. — Of the perverse images of drearfis, which he wishes to have taken away, 153 

Chapter XXXL— About to speak of the temptations of the 'Must of the flesh," he first complains of the 

lust of eating and drinking, 154 

Chapter XXXn. — Of the charms of perfumes which are more easily overcome, 156 

Chapter XXXHI. — He overcame the pleasure of the ear, although in the church he frequently delighted 

in the song, not in the thing sung, 156 

Chaffer XXXIV. — Of the very dangerous allurements of the eyes; on account of beauty of form, God, 

the Creator, is to be praised, 156 

Chapter XXXV. — Another kind of temptation is curiosity, which is stimulated by the "lust of the eyes," 157 

Chapter XXXVL— A third kind is "pride," which is pleasing toman, not to God, 158 

Chapter XXXVIL— He Is forcibly goaded on by the love of praise, 159 

Chapter XXXVIIL— Vain-glory is the highest danger, 160 

Chapter XXXIX.— Of the vice of those who, while plfeaslng Ihetrtselves, displease God, 160 

Chapter XL. — The only safe resting-place for thfc soul is to be fourtd m God 161 

Chapter XLI. — Having conquered his triple desire, ht arrives at salvatioh, 161 

Chapter XLII.-^In what manner many sought the Mediator, 161 

Chapter XLIIL— That Jesus Christ, at the same time God and man, is the true and most efficacious 

Mcdiatori »••••••» • ••• 162 



CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 41 



BOOK ELEVENTH. 

THE DESIGN OF HIS CONFESSIONS BEING DECLARED, HE SEEKS FROM GOD THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY 
SCRIPTURES, AND BEGINS TO EXPOUND THE WORDS OF GENESIS I. I, CONCERNING THE CREATION OF 
THE WORLD. THE QUESTIONS OF RASH DISPUTERS BEING REFUTED, "WHAT DID GOD BEFORE HB 
CREATED THE WORLD?*' THAT HE MIGHT THE BETTER OVERCOME HIS OPPONENTS, HE ADDS A COPIOUS 
DISQUISITION CONCERNING TIME. 

PAGB 

Chapter I. — By confession he desires to stimulate towards God his own love and that of his readers, . . 163 

Chapter II. — He begs of God, that through the Holy Scriptures he may be led to truth, 163 

Chapter III. — He begins from the creation of the world, — not understanding the Hebrew text, . , , . 164 

Chapter IV. — Heaven and earth cry out that they have been created by God, , 165 

Chapter V. — God created the world not from any certain matter, but in His own word 165 

Chapter VI. — He did not, however, create it by a sounding and passing word, 165 

Chapter VII. — By His co-eternal Word He speaks, and all things are done, 166 

Chapter VIII. — That Word itself is the beginning of all things, in the which we are instructed as to 

evangelical truth 166 

Chapter IX. — Wisdom and the Beginning, 166 

Chapter X. — The rashness of those who inquire what God did before He created heaven and earth, . . 167 
Chapter XI. — They who ask this have not as yet known the eternity of God, which is exempt from the 

relation of time 167 

Chapter XII. — What God did before the creation of the world, 167 

Chapter XIII. — Before the time created by God, times were not, 167 

Chapter XIV. — Neither time past nor future, but the present, only really is, 168 

Chapter XV. — There is only a moment of present time, 168 

Chapter XVI. — Time can only be perceived or measured while it is passing, 169 

Chapter XVII. — Nevertheless there is time past and future, 169 

Chapter XVIII. — Past and future times cannot be thought of but as present, 169 

Chapter XIX. — We are ignorant in what manner God teaches future things, 170 

Chapter XX. — In what manner time may be properly designated, 170 

Chapter XXI. — How time may be measured, 170 

Chapter XXII. — He prays God that He would explain this most entangled enigma, ........ 170 

Chapter XXIII. — That time is a certain extension, 171 

Chapter XXIV. — That time is not a motion of the body which we measure by time, 171 

Chapter XXV. — He calls on God to enlighten his mind, 172 

Chapter XXVI. — We measure longer events by shorter in time, 172 

Chapter XXVII. — Times are measured in proportion as they pass by, 172 

Chapter XXVIII. — Time in the human mind, which expects, considers, and remembers, 173 

Chapter XXIX. — That human life is a distraction, but that, through the mercy of God, he was intent on 

the prize of his heavenly calling, 174 

Chapter XXX. — Again he refutes the empty question, *• What did God before the creation of the 

world?" 174 

Chapter XXXI. — How the knowledge of God differs from that of man, 174 



BOOK TWELFTH. 



HE CONTINUES HIS EXPLANATION OF THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS ACCORDING TO THE SEPTUAGINT, AND 
BY ITS ASSISTANCE HE ARGUES, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING THE DOUBLE HEAVEN, AND THE FORMLESS 
MATTER OUT OF WHICH THE WHOLE WORLD MAY HAVE BEEN CREATED; AFTERWARDS OF THE INTER- 
PRETATIONS OF OTHERS NOT DISALLOWED, AND SETS FORTH AT GREAT LENGTH THE SENSE OF THE 
HOLY SCRIPTURE. 

Chapter I. — The discovery of truth is difficult, but God has promised that he who seeks shall find, • • 176 

Chapter II. — Of the double heaven, — th^ visible, and the'heaven of heavens, 176 

Chapter III.— Of the darkness upon the deep, and of the invisible and formless earth, •••••.. 176 

Chapter IV.<— From the formlessness of matter, the beautiful world has ariseiii. •#••••••• 176 



42 CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 



r- 



PAGB 

Chapter V. — What may have been the form of matter, ^ ■ . . . . 177 

Chapter VI. — He confesses that at one time he himself thought erroneously of matter, 177 

Chapter A^II. — Out of nothing God made heaven and earthy 177 

Chapter VIII. — Heaven and earth were made " in the beginning; " afterwards the world, during six days, 

from shapeless matter, * 178 

Chapi'ER IX. — That the heaven of heavens was an intellectual creature, but that the earth was invisible 

and formless before the days that it was made, 178 

Chapter X. — He begs of God that he may live in the true light, and rtiay be instructed as to the mysteries 

of the sacred books, 178 

Chapter XI. — What may be discovered to him by God, 178 

Chaiter XII. — From the formless earth, God created another heaven and a visible and formed earth, . 179 
Chapter XIII. — Of the intellectual heaven and formless earth, out of which on another day the firma- 
ment was formed 179 

Chapter XIV. — Of the depth of the Sacred Scripture, and its enemies, i$o 

Chaffer XV. — He argues against adversaries concerning the heaven of heavens, 180 

Chapter XVI.— He wishes to have no intercourse with those who deny Divine Truth, 181 

Chapter XVII — He mentions live explanations of the words of Genesis i. i, 182 

Chapter XVIII. — What error is harmless in Sacred Scripture, 182 

Chapter XIX. — He enumerates the things concerning which all agree, 183 

Chapter XX. — Of the words, " In the beginning," variously understood. 183 

Chapter XXI. — Of the explanation of the words, "The earth was invisible," 183 

Chapter XXII. — He discusses whether matter was from eternity, or was made by God, 184 

Chapter XXIII. — Two kinds of disagreements in the books to be explained, 185 

Chapter XXIV. — Out of the many true things, it is not asserted confidently that Moses understood this 

or that, 185 

Chapter XXV- — It behoves interpreters, when disagreeing concerning obscure places, to regard God the 

Author of truth, and the rule of charity, 185 

Chapter XXVI. — What he might have asked of God had he been enjoined to write the book of Genesis, 186 

Chapter XXVII. — The style of speaking in the book of Genesis is simple and clear 186 

Chaffer XXVIII. — The words, "In the beginning," and, "The heaven and the earth," are differently 

understood, 187 

Chapter XXIX. — Concerning the opinion of those who explain it, " At first He made,** 187 

Chapter XXX. — In the great diversity of opinions, it becomes all to unite charity and Divine Truth, . . 188 

Chapter XXXI. — Moses is supposed to have perceived whatever of truth can be discovered in his words, 18S 
Chapter XXXII. — First, the sense of the writer is to be discovered* then that is to be brought out which 

Divine Truth intended, 188 



BOOK THIRTEENTH. 

OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD EXPLAINED IN THE CREATION OF THINGS, AND OF THE TRINITY AS FOyND llf 
THE FIRST WORDS OF GENESIS. THE STORY CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD (GEN. I.) IS 
ALLEGORICALLY EXPLAINED, AND HE APPLIES IT TO THOSE THINGS WHICH GOD WORKS FOR SANCTIFIED 
AND BLESSED MAN. FINALLY, HE MAKES AN END OF THIS WORK, HAVING IMPLORED ETERNAL REST 
FROM GOD. 

Chapter I. — He calls upon God, and proposes to himself to worship Him, 190 

CHAFFEii II.— All creatures subsist from the plenitude of divine goodness 199 

Chaffer III. — Genesis i. 3, — Of " Light," he understands as it is seen in the spiritual creature.^ .... 191 
Chapter IV. — All things have been created by the grace of God, and are not of Plim as standing in need 

of created things, . . . ' 191 

Chaffer V. — He recognises the Trinity in the first two verses of Genesis, 191 

Chapter VI. — Why the Holy Ghost should have been mentioned after the mention of heaven and earth, 191 

Chapter VII.— That the Holy Spirit brings to us God, *92 

Chapter VIII.— That nothing whatever, short of G<Jd, can yield to the rational creature a happy rest, . igt 

Chapter IX. — Why the Holy Spirit was only " borne over ** the waters, ^92 

Chapt£r X. — That nothing arose save by the gift of God, • • A93 



CONTENTS OF THE CONFESSIONS. 43 



I 

PACK 

Chapter XI. — That the symbols of the Trinity in man, To Be, To Know, and To Will, are never 

thoroughly examined, ; 193 

Chapter XII. — Allegorical explanation of Genesis, chap, i., concerning the origin of the Church and its 

worship, 194 

Chapter XIII. — That the renewal of man is not completed in this world, 194 

Chaffer XIV. — That out of the children of the night and of the darkness, children of the light and of 

the day are made, 195 

Chapter XV. — Allegorical explanation of the firmament and upper works, ver. 6^ 195 

Chapter XVI. — ^That no one but the Unchangeable Light knows himself, 196 

Chapter XVII. — Allegorical explanation of the sea and the fruit-bearing earth, vers. 9 and 11, .... 196 

Chapter XVIII. — Of the lights and stars of heaven— of day and night, ver. 14, 197 

Chapter XIX. — All men should become lights in the firmament of heaven, 198 

Chapter XX. — Concerning reptiles and flying creatures (ver. 20), — the sacrament of Baptism being 

regarded, 199 

Chapter XXI. — Concerning the living soul, birds and fishes (ver. 24), — the sacrament of the Eucharist 

being regarded, 199 

Chapter XXII.— He explains the divine image (ver. 26) of the renewal of the mind, 200 

Chapter XXIII. — That to have power over all things (ver. 26) is to judge spiritually of all, 201 

Chapter XXIV. — Why God has blessed men, fishes, flying creatures, and not herbs and the other animals 

(ver. 28), 202 

Chapter XXV. — He explains the fruits of the earth (ver. 29) of works of mercy, 203 

Chaffer XXVI. — In the confessing of benefits, computation is made not as to the "gift,'* but as to the 

•* fruit," — that is, the good and right will of the giver, 203 

Chapter XXVII. — Many are ignorant as to this, and ask for miracles, which are signified under the 

names of " fishes '* and ** whales," 204 

Chapter XXVIII. — He proceeds to the last verse, "All things are very good," — that is, the work being 

altogether good, 204 

Chapter XXIX. — Although it is said eight times that "God saw that it was good," yet time has no 

relation to God and His Word, 205 

Chapter XXX. — He refutes the opinions of the Manichaeans and the Gnostics concerning the origin of 

the world, 205 

Chapter XXXI. — We do not see "that it was good," but through the Spirit of God, which is in us, . . 205 

Chapter XXXII. — Of the particular works of God, more especially of man, 205 

Chapter XXXIII. — The world was created by God otft of nothing, 206 

Chapter XXXIV. — He briefly repeats the allegorical interpretation of Genesis (chap, i.), and confesses 

that we see it by the Divine Spirit, 206 

Chapter XXXV. — He prays God for that peace of rest which hath no evening, 207 

Chapter XXXVI. — The seventh day, without evening and setting, the image of eternal life and rest in 

God, 207 

Chapter XXXVII. — Of rest in God, who ever worketh, and yet is ever at rest, 207 

Chapter XXXVIII. — Of the difference between the knowledge of God and of men, and of the repose 

which is to be sought from God only, 207 



THE THIRTEEN BOOKS 

OF THE 

CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUR. AUGUSTIN. 

BISHOP OF HIPPO. 



BOOK I. 

COMMENCING WITH THE INVOCATION OF GOD, AUGUSTIN RELATES IN DETAIL THE BEGINNING OF 
HIS LIFE, HIS INFANCY AND BOYHOOD, UP TO HIS FIFTEENTH YEAR; AT WHICH AGE HE 
ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE WAS MORE INCLINED TO ALL YOUTHFUL PLEASURES AND VICES THAN 
TO THE STUDY OF LETTERS. 

CHAP. I. — HE PRocLAiBis THE GREATNESS OF Other than Thou art. Or perhaps we call on 

GOD, WHOM HE DESIRES TO SEEK AND IN- Thcc that wc may luiow Thec. "But how 

YOKE, BEING AWAKENED BY HIM. shall they call on Him in whom they have not 

I. Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to believed? or how shall they believe without a 

be praised; great is Thy power, and of Thy Pf^cher? » Ajid those who seek the Ix)rd 

wisdom there is no end5 And man, being a shall praise Him.* For those who seek sha^^^ 

part of Thy creation, desires to praise TheeT- ?™' ^^^ those who find Him shall praise Him. 

[^, who bears about with him his mortality, ^^ °^f, ^^ii J^f^' L-'"^' '''• "^^"^ "? ^u^' 

the witness of his sin, even the witness thkt and cdl on Thee m believing mTheej for Thou 

Thou "resistest the proud,-'-yet man, this ^^^ ^^'V^'^^'' !^ ""l^^.f * .R^ 

part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee.» ^Jf ^", ^^^'T^^f/^^^^ J'^ll^ ^^'u't,^^ '""■ 

Thou mov4t us to delight in pmising Thee> F^ed to me, which Thou hast breathed 

for Thou hast formed uf for Thyself, and our through the incarnation of Thy Son, through the 

hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.* ^^^^^^^ °^ ^^^ preacher.* 

Lord, teach me to know and understand which 

of these should be first, to call on Thee, or to ^^^- "— ™at the god whom we invoke is 

praise Thee ; and likewise to know Thee, or to '^ "^' ^^^ ^^ ^^ "^^• 

call upon Thee. But who is there that calls 2. And how shall I call upon my God — ^my 

upon Thee without knowing Thee ? For he God and my Lord ? For when I call on Him 

that knows Thee not may call upon Thee as I ask Him to come into me. And what place 

- — — is there in me into which my God can come — 

» p». cxhr.a^undcxivii. 5. jnto which God can come, even He who made 

» Au^uTrin'bcgiM with Vaise, and the whole book vibrates with hcavcn and earth? Is there anything in me, O 

KJ^ii i![*J5^ elsewhere (i« Ps. cxiix.), that " as a new song fits Lord my God, that can contain Thee ? Do in- 

not well an da man s lips, he should sing a new song who is a new 1,1 1 ,1 1 1 • 1 rr«t 

creature and is living a new life ; " and so from the time of his new deed the VCry hcaVCn and the earth, whlch ThOU 

birth, die "new song" of praise went up from him, and that "not Uoof moHf^ anH in whiVh ThrMi Viacfr maH** m<a 

<dthc^<miyrhut{i6id.cxWm.)cimscuntia/in^uaznia. "^^ maoc, ano m wnicn 1 nou nast maoc me, 

*Aiid the rest which the Christian has here is but an earnest 

of the more perfect rest hereafter, when, as Augustin says {De Gen. * Rom. x. 14. 

ad. Lit. xii. 36), " all virtue will be to love what one sees, and the * Ps- xxii. 26. 

hi^iesc ietidty to have what one loves." [Watts, followed by ^ Matt. vii. 7. 

Pusey, and Shedd, missed the paronomasia of the Latin : " cor * That is, Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, who was instrumental in his 

DOfttnim i^uiettim est donee requietcat in Tc," by translating: conversion (vi. sec. 1 ; viii. sec. 28, etc.). "Before conversion," as 

" our heart b retilett. until it re^xe in Thee." It is the finest Leighlon observes on 1 Pet. ii. 1,2," wit or eloquence may draw a 

sentence in the whole Iwok, and himishcs one of the best areu- man to the word, and possibly prove a happy bait to catch him (as 

mencs for Christianity as the only religion which leads to that St. Augustin reports of his hearing St. Ambrose), but. once bom 

rest in God.— P. S.] again, then it is the milk itself that he desires for itself.'* 

45 



46 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book I. 



contain Thee ? Or, as nothing could exist with- 
out Thee, doth whatever exists contain Thee ? 
Why, then, do I ask Thee to come into me, since 
I indeed exist, and could not exist if Thou wert 
not in me? Because I am not yet in hell, though 
Thou art even there; for **if I go down into 
hell Thou art there."* I could not therefore 
exist, could not exist at all, O my God, unless 
Thou wert in me. Or should I not rather say, 
that I could not exifst unless I were in Thee from 
whom are all things, by whom are all things, in 
whom are all things?' Even so. Lord; even 
so. Where do I call Thee to, since Thou art in 
me, or whence canst Thou come into me ? For 
where outside heaven and earth can I go that 
from thence my God may come into me who has 
said, I fill heaven and earth * ' ?* 

CHAP. III. — EVERYWHERE GOD WHOLLY FILLETH 

■ 

ALL THINGS, BUT NEITHER HEAVEN NOR EARTH 
CONTAINETH HIM. 

3. Since, then. Thou fillest heaven and earth, 
do they contain Thee? Or, as they contain 
Thee not, dost Thou fill them, and yet there re- 
mains something over ? Arid where dost Thou 
pour forth that which remaineth of Thee when 
the heaven and earth are filled ? Or, indeed, is 
there no need that Thou who containest all 
things shouldest be contained of any, since those 
things which Thou fillest Thou fillest by con- 
taining them ? For the vessels which Thou fill- 
est do not sustain Thee, since should they even 
be broken Thou wilt not be poured forth. And 
when Thou art poured forth on us,* Thou art 
not cast down, but we are uplifted ; nor art Thou 
dissipated, but we are drawn together. But, as 
Thou fillest all things, dost Thou fill them with 
Thy whole self, or, as even all things cannot alto- 
gether contain Thee, do they contain a part, and 
do all at once contain the same part ? Or has 
each its own proper part — the greater more, the 
smaller less ? Is, then, one part of Thee greater, 
another less? Or is it that Thou art wholly 
everywhere whilst nothing altogether contains 
Thee?* 

CHAP. IV. — THE M.^JESTY OF GOD IS SUPREME, AND 
HIS VIRTUES INEXPLICABLE. 

4. What, then, art Thou, O my God — ^what, 
I ask, but the Lord God ? For who is Lord but 
the Lord ? or who is God save our God ?• Most 
high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipo- 
tent ; most piteous and most just ; most hidden 

1 Ps. cxxxix. 8. 

• Rom. xi. 36, 

• Jer. xxiii. 24. 
4 Acts ti. x8. 

K In this section, and constantly throu{j;hout the Qfit/fssions, he 
adverts to the materialistic views concerning God held by the Mani- 
chaeans. Sae also sec. xo; iii. sec. la; iv. sec. 31, etc. etc. 

• P». xviii. 31, 



and most near ; most beauteous and most strong, 
stable, yet contained of none; unchangeable, yet 
changing all things ; never new, never old ; 
making all* things new, yet bringing old age 
upon the proud and they know it not ; always 
working, yet ever at rest ; gathering, yet need- 
ing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protect- 
ing; creating, nourishing, and developing; seek- 
ing, and yet possessing all things. Thou lovest, 
and burnest not ; art jealous, yet free from care ; 
repentest, and hast no sorrow; art angry, yet 
serene ; changest Thy ways, leaving unchanged 
Thy plans; recoverest what Thou findest, having 
yet never lost ; art never in want, whilst Thou 
rejoicest in gain ; never covetous, though re- 
quiring usury.^ That Thou mayest owe, more 
than enough is given to Thee ; * yet who hath 
anything that is not Thine ? Thou payest debts 
while owing nothing ; and when Thou forgivest 
debts, losest nothing. Yet, O my God, my life, 
my holy joy, what is this that I have said ? And 
what saith any man when He speaks of Thee ? 
Yet woe to them that keep silence, seeing that 
even they who say most are as the dumb.* 

CHAP. V. — HE SEEKS REST IN GOD, AND PARDON 

OF HIS SINS. 

5. Oh ! how shall I find rest in Thee? Who 
will send Thee into my heart to inebriate it, so 
that I may forget my woes, and embrace Thee, 
my only good ? What art Thou to me ? Have 
compassion on me, that I may speak. What am 
I to Thee that Thou demandest my love, and 
unless I give it Thee art angry, and threatenest 
me with great sorrows ? Is it, then, a light sor- 
row not to love Thee ? Alas I alas ! tell me of 
Thy compassion, O Lord my God, what Thou 
art to me. ** Say unto my soul, I am thy salva- 
tion.** *• So speak that I may hear. Behold, 
Lord, the ears of my heart are before Thee ; open 
Thou them, and *'say unto my soul, I am thy 
salvation.'* When I hear, may I run and lay 
hold on Thee. Hide not Thy face from me. 
Let me die, lest I die, if only I may see Thy 
face." 

6. Cramped is the dwelling of my soul ; do 
Thou expand it, that Thou mayest enter in. It 
is in ruins, restore Thou it. There is that about 
it which must offend Thine eyes ; I confess and 

T Matt. XXV. 97. 

• Su^erfrofyttur iibi, ni deheat. 

* " As it b impossible for mortal, imperiect, and perishaUe man 
to comprehend tne immortal, perfect and eternal, we cannot expect 
that he should be able to express in praise the fulness of God's attri- . 
bates. The Talmud relates of a rabbi, who did not consider th*^ 
terms, ' the great, mighty, and fearful God,' which occur in the daily 
prayer, as being sufficient, but added some more attributes — * What ! 
exclaimed another rabbi who was present, ' imaginest thou to be able 
to exhaust the praise of God ? Thy praise is blasphemy. Thou hadst 
better be quiet . ' Hence the Psalmist's cxclamauon, after finding that 

the praises of Go<l were inexhaustible: n*7nn H^On l7, 'Siknco 
is praise to Thee.' " — Bkbslau. ' 

W I^. XXXV. 3. 

1^ Moriar ne mortar, ut earn videoM, See Ex. xxxUi. ao. 



Chap. VI.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 47 



know it, but who will cleanse it ? or to whom blessings both within tne and without me which 
shall I cry but to Thee ? Cleanse me from my Thou hast bestowed upon me. For at that time 
secret sins,* O Lord, and keep Thy servant from I knew how to suck, to be satisfied when com- 
those of other men. I believe, and therefore do fortable, and to cry when in pain — nothing be- 
I speak;' Lord, Thou knowest. Have I not yond. 

confessed my transgressions unto Thee, O my 8. Afterwards I began to laugh, — ^at first in 
God ; and Thou hast put away the iniquity of sleep, then when waking. For this I have heard 
my heart ?• I do not contend in judgment with mentioned of myself, and I believe it (though I 
Thee,* who art the Truth ; and I would not de- cannot remember it), for we see the same in 
ceive myself, lest my iniquity lie against itself.* other infants. And now little by little I real- 
I do not, therefore, contend in judgment with ized where I was, and wished to tell my wishes? 
Thee, for ** if Thou, Lord, shouldcst mark ini- to those who might satisfy them, but I could ' 
quities, O Lord, who shall stand?"* not ; for my wants were within me, while they . 

were without, and could not by any faculty of 
CHAP. VI. — HE DESCRIBES HIS INFANCY, .AND thcirs enter into my soul. So I cast about limbs 
LAUDS THE PROTECTION AND ETERNAL PROVI- and voice, making the few and feeble signs I '' 
DENCE OF GOD. could, like, though indeed not much like, unto - 

7. Still suffer me to speak before Thy mercy- "^^ ^ "^'f"^^ • *"^ ^'^^"i ^^ "°' satisfied- 

me, " dust and ashes."' Suffer me to speak, for, either not bemg understood, or because it would 

behold, it is Thy mercy I address, andnot de- ^"^ been injurious to me-I grew mdignant 

risive man. Yet perhaps even Thou deridest hat my elders were not subject unto me and 

me ; but when ThoVart turned to me Thou wilt ^^^ ^^°^ ^'^ ""^""^J ^'^ "° ^^""^ ^'^^°\ **'* 

have compassion on mc.» For what do I wish 2!? "«' ?"<^ ^^^"««i ?"y^'f °" '^^™ ^^ t^*^' 

to say, O Lord my God, but that I know not J^at infants are such I have been able to learn 

whence I came hither into thi*-^hall I call it 1^^ matching them ; and they, though unknow- 

dying life or living death ? Yet, as I have heard '"«' j"^"^ ^"^' ^^°^l ™^ **'/ ^'^ ^""^ ^ 

from my parents, from whose substance Thou <*"^ ^^^""fl T"^^ ° r"^"" > 



^^^o;»^^ rv^^ . fr.^ r^^'.^u^* ^,r ^.^fU^ « worM was, and indeed before all that can be 

tertamea me: for neither my mother nor my n j .,u r »i rf., . ^ ^ , i. ^u i-. j 

nurses filled their own breasts, but Thou by them ^^"^? i^*?"^,', J''°" ^T ' a lu^^^ 

didst give me the nourishment of infancy i:cord- f^V^ k-^ !k ^ "^^'"'■^V ^"f ^TJ ^^ 

ing to Thy ordinance and that bounty of Thine f'^'-'^'y ?^'<^^ ^^^ ^^"^ of all unstable things, 

wMch underUeth all things. For Thou didst the unchanging sources of d things changeable, 

cause me not to want more than Thou gavest, '^^ ''^ ^'^'""f f^"' °4 f "f ^f?"^« 

and those who nourished me wiUingly to give me f"f A^™P«'^Ou»«=" J?.^' ^hy suppliant, O God ; 

what Thou gavest them. For thiy, by an in- tell,0 merciful One,Thy miserable servant "-tell 

stinctive affection, were anxious to giW me what ™« whether iny infancy succeeded another age of 

Tu^,. i^^A^t^ oK«J^^^«fU, o„^,.i;^^ T* • nime which had at that time perished. Was it 

Ihou nadst abunaantly supplied. It was, in ^, ^ , . , t j • ^u » ur» t 

truth, good for them thit my good should come 'ha' which I passed in my mother s womb? l-or 

from them, though, indeed, it was not from of that something has been made known to me. 

^. i...i. t!.. *i.™ . r^_ r : ix«i._^ -rx ^ J and I have myself seen womei 



passed in my mother's womb? For 
ig has been made known to me, 

them, but by them ; for from Thee, O God, are 1"" " 'T^^ 't^/f^ ^^." *°'"^'\ "^/^ ,*='?"<^; 

all good things, alid from my God is all my ^"^ ^ *''h° ^'^' "^l ^°^' ^'"'^^'^f f l^^ 

safety.* This is what I have since discovered, ^^ ^' '"'^ff^' anywhere or anybody? For 

as Thou hast declared Thyself to me by the "° °"^ T Tk ^"^' "r ^ ^k' ' 
^ ^ nor mother, nor the experience of others, nor 

1 P*. xix. la. ,r -Be it that ..in' may never sec ti^il^hJt^at'Tt "^X ^Wn memory. Dost ThoU kugh at me for 

may be like a child born and buried in the womb; yet as that child asking SUCh thlHgS, and COmmand me tO praiSC 

is a man, a true man, there closeted in that hidden frame of nature, -_,j ,.,xr>f<aoc. TU.*^ fr^,- ,.rUr,f T bn/^t.r "> 

so sin is truly sin, though it never gets out beyond the womb which ^"^ COntCSS 1 hCC tOr What 1 knOW ? 

^ l?*SJ? ^ *^''** *'■ ~^^^'^'^*^' '^- ^ S'^^ thanks to Thee, Lord of heaven 

« p*,' xxza. $.* and earth, giving praise to Thee for that my 

I|?!*«V?:ia,K.4'. "The danger of ignorance is not less than ^^* ^'^^S ^nd infancy, of which I haVC nO 

itsgiuit. For of all evils a secret cvn is most to be deprecated, of all memory: for Thou hast granted to man that 

eoonies a concealed enemy is the worst. Better the precipice than r ^ut-i-u * i* x 

the pitfaU; better the tortures of curablt disease than the painless- "*Oni Others he should COme tO COncluSlOnS aS tO 

n^ofmortification: and so, whatever your soul's guilt and dang^^^^^ himSclf, and that he should belleVC many thiugS 
bettertobeawareolit. However alarming, however distressing self- . , . ,- , , . r r xt 

koowled^ may be, better />lrt/ than the tremendous evils of self-ig. concerning himself On the authority of feeble 

'^^^ft^'annr'^*"' women. Even then I had life and being ; and 

^ Gen. XTiii. ay. 

• tei.*'*' •*" ** " W*"^*" **y* Binning, "hath but its name from misery, and 

Proir. XXI, 3Z, is no other thing than to lay another's misery to heart." 



\" 



48 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book I. 



as my in^cy closed I was already seeking for 
signs by which my feelings might be made 
known to others. Whence could such a crea- 
ture come but from Thee, O Lord ? Or shall 
any man be skilful enough to fashion himself? 
Or is there any other vein by which being and 
life runs into us save this, that " Thou, O Lord, 
hast made us,"* with whom being and life 
are one, because Thou Thyself art being and 
life in the highest? Thou art the highest, 
**Thou changest not,**' neither in Thee doth 
this present day come to an end, though it doth 
end in Thee, since in Thee all such things are ; 
for they would have no way of passing away 
unless Thou sustainedst them. And since ** Thy 
years shall have no end,"* Thy years are an 
ever present day. And how many of ours and 
our fathers* days have passed through this Thy 
day, and received from it their measure and 
fashion of being, and others yet to come shall 
so receive and pass away I ** But Thou art the 
and all the things of to-morrow and 



same; 



if * 



the days yet to come, and all of yesterday and 
the days that are past, Thou wilt do to-day, 
Thou hast done to-day. What is it to me if 
any understand not ? Let him still rejoice and 
say, "What is this?'** Let him rejoice even 
so, and rather love to discover in failing to dis- 
cover, than in discovering not to discover Thee. 

CHAP. VII. — HE SHOWS BY EXAMPLE THAT EVEN 
INFANCY IS PRONE TO SIN. 

II. Hearken, O God ! Alas for the sins of 
men ! Man saith this, and Thou dost compas- 
sionate him; for Thou didst create him, but 
didst not create the sin that is in him. Who 
bringeth to my remembrance the sin of my in- 
fancy ? For before Thee none is free from sin, 
not even the infant which has lived but a day 
upon the earth. Who bringeth this to my re- 
membrance? Doth not each little one, in 
whom I behold that which I do not remember 
of myself? In what, then, did I sin ? Is it 
that I cried for the breast ? If I should now so 
cry, — not indeed for the breast, but- for the food 
suitable to my years, — I should be most justly 
laughed at and rebuked. What I then did de- 



i Ps. c. 3. 

« Mai. iii. 6. . 

* Ps. cii. 27. 

* Ex. xvi. 15. This is one of the alternative translations piit 
against ** it is manna" in the margin of the authorized version^ It 
is the literal significance of the Hebrew, and is so translated in most 
of the old English versions. Augustin indicates thereby the atti- 
tude of faith. Many thin^ we are called on to believe (to use the 
illustration of Ix)cke) which are above reason, hut none that arc 
contrary to reason. We are hut as children in relation to God, and 
may therefore ^nly expect to know " parts of His ways." Even in 
the difficulties of Scripture he sees the gotxlness of Crod. " God," 
he says, " has in Scripture clothed His mysteries with clouds, that 
man's love of truth might be inflamed by the difficulty of finding 
them out. For if they were only such as were readily understood, 
truth would not be eagerly sougnt, nor would it give pleasure when 
found." — Dt y*r. Relig. c. 17. 



served rebuke ; but as I could not understand 
those who rebuked me, neither custom nor rea- 
son suffered me to be rebuked. For as we grow 
we root out and cast from us such habits. I 
have not seen any one who is wise, when ** purg- 
ing * ' • anything cast away the good. Or was it 
good, even for a time, to strive to get by cry- 
ing that which, if given, would be hurtful — ^to 
be bitterly indignant that those who were free 
and its elders, and those to whom it owed its 
being, besides many others wiser than it, who 
would not give way to the nod of its good 
pleasure, were not subject unto it — to endeavour 
to harm, by struggling as much as it could, be- 
cause those commands were not obeyed which 
only could have been obeyed to its hurt? Then, 
in the weakness of the infant's limbs^ and not 
in its will, lies its innocency. I myself have 
seen and known an infant to be jealous though 
it could not speak. It became pale, and cast 
bitter looks on its foster-brother. Who is ignor- 
ant of this? Mothers and nurses tell us that 
they appease these things by I know not what 
remedies ; and may this be taken for innocence, 
that when the fountain of milk is flowing fresh 
and abundant, one who has need should not be 
allowed to share it, though needing that nourish- 
ment to sustain life ? Yet we look leniently on 
these things, not because they are not faults, 
nor because the faults are small, but because 
they will vanish as age increases. For although 
you may allow these things now, you could not 
bear them with equanimity if found in an older 
person. 

12. Thou, therefore, O Lord my God, who 
gavest life to the infant, and a frame which, as 
we see, Thou hast endowed with senses, com- 
pacted with limbs, beautified with form, and, 
for its general good and safety, hast introduced 
all vital energies — Thou commandest me to 
praise Thee for these things, *' to give thanks 
unto the Lord, and to sing praise unto Thy 
name, O Most High ; " ^ for Thou art a God 
omnipotent and good, though Thou hadst done 
nought but these things, which none other can 
do but Thou, who alone madest all things, O 
Thou most fair, who madest all things fair, and 
orderest all according to Thy law. This period, 
then, of my life, O Lord, of which I have no 
remembrance, which I believe on the word of 
others, and which I guess from other infants, it 
chagrins me — true though the guess be — to 
reckon in this life of mine which I lead in this 
world ; inasmuch as, in the darkness of my 
forgetfulness, it is like to that which I passed in 
my mother's womb. But if ** I was shajxrn in 
iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive 



• John XV. 2. 
' Ps. xcii. 1. 



Chap. DC] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



49 



me," ' where, I pray thee, O my God, where, 
Lord, or when was I, Thy servant, innocent? 
But behold, I pass by that time, for what have 
I to do with ttut, the memories of which I can- 
not recall? 

CHAP. VIII. — ^THAT WHEN A BOY HE L£ARNED TO 
SPEAK, NOT BV ANY SET METHOD, BUT FROU 
THE ACTS AND WORDS OK HIS PARENTS. 

13. Did I not, then, growing out of the state 
of infimcy, come to boyhood, or rather did it 
not come to me, and succeed to infancy? Nor 
did my infancy depart (for whither went it ?) ; 
and yet it did no longer abide, for I was no 
longer an intant that could not speak, but a 
chattering boy. I remember this, and I after- 
wards oteerved how I first learned to speak, for 
my eldere did not teach me words in any set 
method, as they did letters afterwards; but I 
myself, when I was unable to say all I wished 
and to whomsoever I desired, by means of the 
whimperings and broken utterances and various 
motions of my limbs, which I used to enforce 
my wishes, repeated the sounds in my memory 
by the mind, O my God, which Thou gavest 
me. When they called anything by name, and 
moved the body towards it while they spoke, I 
saw and gathered ttiat the thing they wished to 
point out was called by the name they then 
uttered ; and that they did mean this was made 
plain by the motion of the body, even by the 
natiual language of ail nations expressed by the 
countenance, glance of the eye, movement of 
other membeis, and by the sound of the voice 
indicating the affections of the mind, as it seeks, 
possesses, rejects, or avoids. So it was that by 
frequently hearing words, in dtiiy placed sen- 
tences, I gradually gathered what things they ' 
were the signs of; and having formed my mouth i 
to the utterance of these signs, I thereby ex- 
piesed my will.* Thus I exchanged with those | 
about me the signs by which we express our j 
wishes, and advanced deeper into the stormy I 
fellowship of human life, depending the while 
on the authority of parents, and the beck of 
elders. 

CHAP. IX. ^-CONCERNING THE HATRED OF LEARN- 
ING, THE LOVE OF PLAY, AND THE FEAR OF 
BEING WHIPPED NOTICEABLE IN BOYS : AND 
OF THE FOLLY OF OUR ELDERS AND MASTERS. 

14. OmyGodl what miseries and mockeries 
did I then experience, when obedience to my 
teachers was set before me as proper to my boy- 
hood, that I might flourish in this world, and 
distinguish myself in the science of speech, 



m ibii lubjcct in Wlulely'i Lnfic, 



which should get me honour amongst men, and 
deceitful riches I After that I was put to school 
to get learning, of which I (worthless as I was) 
knew not what use there was; and yet, if slow 
to team, I was flogged I For this was deemed 
praiseworthy by our forefathers; and many be- 
fore us, passing (he same course, had appointed 
beforehand for us these troublesome ways by 
which we were compelled to pass, multiplying 
labour and sorrow upon the sons of Adam. But 
we found, O Lord, men praying to Thee, and 
we learned from them to conceive of Thee, ac- 
cording to our ability, to be some Great One, 
who was able (though not visible to our senses) 
to hear and help us. For as a boy I began to 
pray to Thee, my "help" and my "rciuge,"* 
and in invoking Thee broke the bands of my 
tongue, and entreated Thee though IJtde, with 
no little earnestness, that I might not be beaten 
at school. And when Thou heardedst me not, 
giving me not over to folly thereby,* my eldera, 
yea, and my own parents too, who wished me 
no ill, laughed at my stripes, my then great and 
grievous ill. 

15. Is there any one, Lord, with so high a 
spirit, cleaving to Thee with so strong an affec- 
tion — for even a kind of obtuseness may do that 
much — but is there, 1 say, any one who, by 
cleaving devoutly to Thee, is endowed with so 
great a courage that he can esteem lightly those 
racks and hooks, and varied tortures of the same 
sort, against which, throughout the whole world, 
men supplicate Thee with great fear, deriding 
those who most bitterly fear them, just as our 
parents derided the torments with which our 
masters punished us when we were boys? For 
we were no less afraid of oiu: pains, nor did we 
pray less to Thee to avoid them ; and yet we 
sinned, in writing, or reading, or reflecting upon 
our lessons less than was required of us. For 
we wanted not, Lord, memory or capacity, — 
of which, by Thy will, we possessed enough for 
our age, — but we delighted only in play; and 
we were punished for this by those who were 
doing the same things themselves. But the idle- 
ness of our elders they call business, whilst boys 
who do the like are punished by those same 
elders, and yet neither boys nor men find any 
pity. For will any one of good sense approve 
of my being whipped because, as a boy, I played 
ball, and so was hindered from learning quickly 
those lessons by means of which, as a man, I 
should play more unbecomingly? And did he 
by whom I was beaten do other than this, who, 
when he was overcome in any little controversy 
with a co-tutor, was more tormented by anger 
and envy than I when beaten by a playfellow in 
a match at ball? 

* Pi! ii»iil'i"r^. ■ '' ' '^' 



50 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTiN. 



[Book I. 



CHAP. X. THROUGH A LOVE OF BALL-PLAYING 

AND SHOWS, HE NEtiLECTS HIS STUDIES A.ND 
THE INJUNCTIONS OF HIS PAKENT5. 

i6. And yet I erred, O Lord God, the Crea- 
tor and Disposer of all thingi in Nature, — but 
of sin the Disposer only, — I erred, Lord my 
God, in doing contrary to the wishes of my 
parents and of those masters ; for this learning 
which they (no matter for what motive) wished 
me to acquire, 1 might have put to good account 
afterwards. For I disobeyed them not because 
I had chosen a better way, but from a fondness 
for play, loving the honour of victory in the 
matches, and to have my ears tickled with lying 
fables, in order that they might itch the more 
fiiriously — the same curiosity beaming more and 
more in my eyes for the shows and sports of my 
elders. Yet those who give these entertainments 
are held in such high repute, that almost all de- 
sire the same for their children, whom they are 
still willing should be beaten, if so be these 
same games keep them from the studies by which 
they desire them to arrive at being the givers of 
them. Look down upon these things, O Lord, 
with compassion, and deliver us who now call 
upon Thee; deliver those also who do not call 
upon Thee, that they may call upon Thee, and 
that Thou mayest deliver them. 

CHAP. XI. SEIZED BV DISEASE, HIS MOTHER 

BEING TROUBLED, HE EARNESTLY DEMANDS 
BAITISM, WHICH ON RELOVERY IS POSTPONED , 

HIS FATHER NOT AS VET BELIEVING IN 

CHRIST. 

17. Even as a boy I had heard of eternal life ; 
promised to us through the humility of the Lord 
our God condescending to our pride, and I was I 
signed with the sign of the cross, and was sea- ' 
soned with His salt ' even from the womb of my I 
mother, who greatly trusted in Thee. Thou 
sawest, O Lord, how at one time, while yet a 
boy, being suddenly seized with pains in the ' 
stomach, and being at the point of death — Thou 
sawest, O my God, for even then Thou wa.st my 
keeper, with what emotion of mind and with 
what faith I soKcited from the piety of my ^ 
mother, and of Thy Church, the mother of us ' 
all, the baptism of Thy Christ, my Lord and 
my God. On which, the mother of my flesh ^ 
being much troubled, — sinc-e she, with a heart ' 
pure in Thy laith, travailed in birth' more lov- , 
ingly for my eternal salvation, — would, had I 
not quickly recovered, have without delay pro- 
vided for my initiation and washing by Thy 



rioiu to bapti&m, denciLinfc the puril^ and uncortupicdncis and 
Rtion required ^ Christiqiu- >cv S. Auft. I}f Catfirkim. ndifi- 



life-giving sacraments, confessing Thee, O Lord 
• Jesus, for the remission of sins. So my cleans- 
ing was deferred, as if I must needs, should I 
live, be further polluted ; because, indeed, the 
I guilt contracted by sin would, at^er baptism, be 
greater and more perilous.' Thus I at that time 
j believed with my mother and the whole house, 
■ except my father ; yet he did not overcome the 
influence of my mother's piety in me so as to 
prevent my believing in Christ, as he had not 
I yet believed in Him. For she was desirous that 
Thou, O my God, shouldst be my Father rather 
I than he ; and in this Thou didst aid her to over- 
j come her husband, to whom, though the better 
of the two, she yielded obedience, because in 
I this she yielded obedience to Thee, who dost so 
command. 

18. I beseech Thee, my God, I would gladljr 
know, if it be Thy will, to what end my bap- 
tism was then deferred ? Was it for my good 
that the reins were slackened, as it were, upon 
me for me to sin ? Or were they not slackened? 
If not, whence comes it that it is still dinned 
into our ears on all sides, " Let him alone, let 
him act as he likes, for he is not yet baptized "t 
But as regards bodily health, no one exclaims^ 
" Let him be more seriously wounded, for he is 
not yet cured I " How much better, then, had 
it been for me to have been cured at once ; and 
then, by my own and my friends' diligence, my 
soul's restored health had beer kept safe in Thy 
keeping, who gavest it j Better, in truth. But 
how numerous and great waves of temptation 
appeared to hang over me after my childhood I 
Ihese were foreseen by my mother ; and she pre- 
ferred that the unformed clay should be exposed 
to them rather than the image itself. 

CHAP. XII. — BEING COMPELLED. HE GAVE HIS 
ATTENTION TO LEARNING; BVV FULLY AC- 
KNOWLEDGES THAT THIS WAS THE WORK Of 

GOD. 

19. But in this my childhood (which was lar 
less dreaded for me than youth) I had no love 
af learning, and hated to be forced to it, yet 
tvas I forced to it notwithstanding ; and this 
was well done towards me, but I did not well, 
for I would not have learned had I not been 
;;ompelled. For no man doth well against his 
will, even if that which he doth be well. 
Neither did they who forced me do well, but 



■ (id. iv. i| 



BSSf; 



iill die hiiur of ddlh apprvocbed. The doc- 
dtav,iund u» diftcouraK Ihb,an(lpcnA»ba|w 

. . . ." dinic»Il)r"J wwe, if they tccovcnrd, lookad 

oil uHlli HBuidur. I'tae Kmpenir Cuinundiw wu not bapund dl) 
theckMcai^la life, and Ik k un-urcd by l)r.tlcwain{Ari-H, 
ilk. hcc. t) tiir iiRwiniiijE v> ^pcak uf quc^iioiu which Jiiridcd tha 
Ariant and the Ihtlnidint an '* unlmponam," while he hifh«elt iraa 
bixh unbapciaed and uninF>iniciL-d. Op the pouponing nf liapdAnt 
"ilh a view lo iinnitnlned enjiiyment of the wurJd. and on the 
Kvertty of the early Lluinih tavarA! 
fee Kayc'i TrrtHUiaitt pp. 334-941. 



Chaf. XIV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, 



51 



the good that was done to me came from Thee, 
my God. For they considered not in what 
way I should employ what they forced me to 
learn, unless to satisfy the inordinate desires of 
a rich beggary and a shameful glory. But 
Thou, by whom the very hairs of our heads are 
numbered,' didst use for my good the error of 
all who pressed me to learn ; and my own error 
in willing not to learn, didst Thou make use of 
for my punishment — of which I, being so small 
a boy and so great a sinner, was not unworthy. 
Thus by the instrumentality of those who did 
not well didst Thou well for me ; and by my 
own sin didst Thou justly punish me. For it is 
even as Thou hast appointed, that every inordi- 
nate affection should bring its own punish- 
ment.' 



n^ 



yCHAP. XIII. — HE DELIGHTED IN LATIN STUDIES 
AND THE EMPTY FABLES OF THE POETS, BUT 
HATED THE ELEMENTS OF LITERATURE AND 
THE GREEK LANGUAGE. 

30. But what was the cause of my dislike of 
Greek literature, which I studied from my boy- 
hood, I cannot even now understand. For the 
Latin I loved exceedingly — ^not what our first 
masters, but what the grammarians teach ; for those 
primary lessons of raiding, writing, and cipher- 
ing, I considered no less of a burden and a pun- 
ishment than Greek. Yet whence was this 
tmless from the sin and vanity of this life ? for I 
was '' but flesh, a wind that passeth away and 
Cometh not again. * ' • For those primary lessons 
were better, assuredly, because more certain ; 
seeing that by their agency I acquired, and still 
retain, the power of reading what I find writ- 
ten, and writing myself what I will ; whilst in 
the others I was compelled to learn about the 
wanderings of a certain yEneas, oblivious of my 
own, and to weep for Dido dead, because she 
slew herself for love ; while at the same time I 
brooCed with dry eyes my wretched self dying 
far from Thee, in the midst of those things, O 
God, my life. 

21. For what can be more wretched than the 
wretch who pities not himself shedding tears 
over the death of Dido for love of iCneas, but 
shedding no tears over his own death in not 
loving Thee, O God, light of my heart, and 
bread of the inner mouth of my soul, and the 
power that weddest my mind with my inner- 
most thoughts? I did not love Thee, and 
committed fornication against Thee ; and those 
around me thus sinning cried, "Well done! 
Well done I " For the friendship of this world 
is fornication against Thee ; * and ** Well done ! 



1 Matt. z. yx 

* Se« BOle, Y. MC. 9, below. 

* Pft. Ixxviii. 39, and J as. iv. 14. 
4 Jas. iv. 4. 



Well done ! ' ' is cried until one feels ashamed 
not to be such a man. And for this I shed no 
tears, though I wept for Dido, who sought death 
at the sword's point,* myself the while seeking 
the lowest of Thy creatures — having forsaken 
Thee— earth tending to the earth ; and if for- 
bidden to read these things, how grieved would 
I feel that I was not permitted to read what 
grieved me. This sort of madness is considered 
a more honourable and more fruitful learning 
than that by which I learned to read and write. 

22. But now, O my God, cry unto ray soul ; 
and let Thy Truth say unto me, "It is not so ; 
it is not so ; better much was that first teach- 
ing.*' For behold, I would rather forget the 
wanderings of ^neas, and all such things, than 
how to write and read. But it is true that over 
the entrance of the grammar school there hangs 
a vail ; * but this is not so much a sign of the 
majesty of the mystery, as of a covering for 
error. Let not them exclaim against me of 
whom I am no longer in fear, whilst I confess 
to Thee, my God, that which my soul desires, 
and acquiesce in reprehending my evil ways, that 
I may love Thy good ways. Neither let those 
cry out against me who buy or sell grammar- 
learning. For if I ask them whether it be true, 
as the poet says, that i£neas once came to 
Carthage, the unlearned will reply that they do 
not know, the learned will deny it to be true. 
But if I ask with what letters the name i£neas 
is written, all who have learnt this will answer 
truly, in accordance with the conventional un- 
derstanding men have arrived at as to these 
signs. -Again, if I should ask which, if forgot- 
ten, would cause the greatest inconvenience in 
our life, reading and writing, or these poetical 
fictions, who does not see what every one would 
answer who had not entirely forgotten himself? 
I erred, then, when as a boy I preferred those 
vain studies to those more profitable ones, or 
rather loved the one and hated the other. 
** One and one are two, two and two are four," 
this was then in truth a hateful song to me ; 
while the wooden horse full of armed men, and 
the burning of Troy, and the ** spectral image *' 
of Creusa' were a most pleasant spectacle of 
vanity. 

CHAP. XIV. — ^WHY HE DESPISED GREEK LITERA- 
TURE, AND EASILY LEARNED LATIN. 

23. But why, then, did I dislike Greek learn- 



• y^nefd, vi. ^57. 

* " llie ' vail was an emblem of honour, used in places of wor- 
ship, and subsequently in courts of law, emperors palaces, ami 
even private house. See Du Fresne and Hoffmen su6 v. That 
between the vestibule, or proscholium, and the school itself, besides 
being a mark of dignity, may, as St. Augustin perhaps implies, 
have been intended to denote uie hidden mysteries taugnt thereia, 
and that the mass of mankind were not fit hearers of truth."—- 
E. B. P. 

7 ^Mtid, U. 773. 



S2 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book L 



ing, which was full of like tales?' For Homer 
also was skilled in inventing similar stories, and 
is most sweetly vain, yet was he disagreeable to 
me as a boy. I believe Virgil, indeed, would 
be the same to Grecian children, if compelled 
to learn him, as I was Homer. The diffi- 
culty, in truth, the difficulty of learning a 
foreign language mingled as it were with gall 
all the sweetness of those fabulous Grecian 
stories. For not a single word of it did I un- 
derstand, and to make me do so, they vehe- 
mently urged me with cruel threatenings and 
punishments. There was a time also when (as 
an infant) I knew no Latin j but this I acquired 
without any fear or tormenting, by merely 
taking notice, amid the blandishments of my 
nurses, the jests of those who smiled on me, 
and the sportiveness of those who toyed with me. 
I learnt all this, indeed, without being urged 
by any pressure of punishment, for my own 
heart urged me to bring forth its own concep- 
tions, which f could not do unless by learning 
words, not of those who taught me, but of those 
who talked to me; into whose ears, also, I 
brought forth whatever I discerned. From this 
it is sufficiently clear that a free curiosity hath 
more influence in our learning these things than 
a necessity full of fear. But this last restrains 
the overflowings of that freedom, through Thy 
laws, O God, — Thy laws, from the ferule of the 
schoolmaster to the trials of the martyr, being 
eflective to mingle for us a salutary bitter, call- 
ing us back to Thyself from the pernicious 
delights which allure us from Thee. 

CHAP. XV. — HE ENTREATS OOD, THAT WHATEVER 
USEFUL THINGS HE LEAKNED AS A BOY MAV BE 
DEDICATED TO HIM. 

34. Hear my prayer, O Lord; let not my 
soul faint under Thy discipline, nor let me faint 
in confessing unto Thee Thy mercies, whereby 
Thou hast saved me from all my most mischiev- 
ous ways, that Thou mightcst become sweet 
to me beyond all the seductions which I used 
tj) follow; and that I may love Thee entirely, 
and grasp Thy hand with my whole heart, and 
that Thou mayest deliver me from every tempta- 
tion, even unto the end. For lo, O Lord, ray 
King and my God, for Thy service be whatever 
useful thing I learnt as a boy — for Thy service 



■Imply alLudi 
sftenbecn« 



Its have been made u to Aiiffu«tin'i dc- 

n-uux Lo learn a furtwn languajie Ihav ha^ 
ncc his day. It wnuld aeeni eigually clear 

_, alw Dt Trim, iii, lec 1), ihal wiien he 

cmld R( a traiulalion of a Greek book^ he prefermJ h tn one in tbe 
flrieliul lanfpince. I'crhap* in lUib, a^ain. he in nut aho^het sin- 

Kir. It Ik difliciill In iteddc Iht enact titcnl nf Wr. kwiwIeiUfe, 
ihoK familiar with hii writiins can icarctly fall Id be laltificd 
tbU he had a mflicient acquaintance with (he ianeuaee to correct 
hb luiBc Yeniion by ihe UtcA Tntamenl and Iht l.XX., und that 

pRter of &c^plura, b« alao Con. Fauti, xi. >-4 ; and Dt Dottr, 



what I Speak, and write, and count. For when 
I learned vain things, Thou didst grant me Thy 
discipline ; and my sin in taking delight in 
those vanities, lliou hast forgiven me. I 
learned, indeed, in them many usefiil words; 
but these may be learned in things not vain, 
and that is the safe way for youths to walk in. 

CHAP. XVI. HE niSAPPROVES OF THE MODE OF 

EDUCATING YOUTH, AND HE POINTS OUT WHY 
WICKEDNESS IS ATTRIBUTED TO THE OODS BY 
THE POETS. 

25. But woe unto thee, thou Stream of human 
custom! Who shall stay thy course? How 
long shall it be before thou art dried up? How 
long wilt thou carry down the sons of Eve into 
that huge and fonnidable. ocean, which even 
they who are embarked on the cross {lignum) 

■can scarce pa-ss over?' Do I not read in thee 
I of Jove the thunderer and adulterer? And the 
two verily he could not be; but it was that, 
I while the fictitious thunder served as a cloak, 
lie might have warrant to imitate real adultery. 
Yet which of our gowned masters can lend a 
' temperate ear to a man of his school who cries 
out and says: "These were Homer's fictions; 
he transfers things human to the gods. I could 
have wished him to transfer divine things to us."* 
But it would have been more true had he said ; 
"These are, indeed, his fictions, but he attri- 
buted divine attributes to sinful men, that 
crimes might not be accounted crimes, and that 
whosoever committed any might appear to imi- 
tate the celestial gods and not abandoned men." 

26. And yet, thou stream of hell, into thee 
are cast the sons of men, with rewards for learn- 
ing these things ; and much is made of it when 
this is going on in the forum in the sight of 
laws which grant a salary over and above the 
rewards. And thou beatest against thy rocks 
and roarest, saying, " Hence words are learnt ; 
hence eloquence is to be attained, most neces- 
sary to persuade people to your way of thinking, 
and to unfold your opinions." So, in truth, 
we should never have understood these words, 
"golden shower," "bosom," "intrigue," 
" highest heavens," and other words written in 
the same place, unless Terence had introduced 
a good-for-nothing youth upon the stage, set- 
ting up Jove as his example of lewdness : — 

Ofj"'^ 'cL'c^^ii^ ill" K.'lJc^ >h"»i;"*"' ^ 

And see how he excites himself to lust, as if by 
celestial authority, when he says r — 



a. be carried by a ship — be earned by tlu 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



53 



"Gtwujon, 
Wlw ilwka the hubeu bumu •rkk hb IhundB, 
And ], poor noruTnicui, dm do tb« «unB I 
] did it, and wkh aU my bean ] did ii," ■ 

Not one whit more easily are the words learnt 
for this vileness, but by their means is the vile- 
ness per[>etiated with more confidence. I do 
not blame the words, they being, as it were, 
choice and precious vessels, but the wine of 
error which was drunk in them to us by inebri- 
ated teachers ; and unless we drank, we were 
beaten, without liberty of appeal to any sober 
judge. And yet, O my God, — in whose pres- 
ence I can now with security recall this, — did I, 
unhappy one, learn these things willingly, and 
with delight, and for this was I called a boy of 
good promise.* 



CHAP. XVII. — HE CONTINUES ON THE 

METHOD OP TRAINING YOUTH IN LITERARY 
SUBJECTS. 

a?. Bear with me, my God, while I speak a 
little of those talents Thou hast bestowed upon 
me, and on what follies I wasted them. For a 
lesson sufhciently disquieting to my soul was 
given me, in hope of praise, and fear of shame 
or stripes, to sp^ the words of Juno, as she 
raged and sorrowed that she could not 



which I had heard Juno never uttered. Yet 
were we compelled to stray in the footsteps of 
these poetic fictions, and to turn that into prose 
which the poet had said in verse. And his 
speaking was most applauded in whom, accord- 
ing to the reputation of the persons delineated, 
the paffiions of anger and sorrow were most 
strikingly reproduced, and clothed in the most 
suitable language. But what is it to me, O my 
true Life, my God, that my declaiming was ap- 
plauded above that of many who were my con- 
temporaries and fellow-students ? Behold, isnot 
all this smoke and wind ? Was there nothing 
else, too, on which I could exercise my wit and 
tongue? Thy praise. Lord, Thy praises might 
have supported the tendrils of my heart by Thy 
Scriptures; so had it not been dragged away 
by these eippty trifles, a shameful prey of* the 
fowls of the air. For there is more than one 
way in which men sacrifice to the fallen angeb. 

CHAP. XVIIl. MEN DESIRE TO OBSERVE THE 

RULES OF LEARNING, BUT NEGLECT THE ETER- 
NAL RIJLES OF EVERLASTING SAFETY. 

a8. But what matter of surprise is it that I 



was thus carried towards vanity, and went forth 
from Thee, O my God, when men were pro- 
posed to me to imitate, who, should they in re- 
lating any acts of theirs — not in themselves evil 
— be guilty of a barbarism or solecism, when 
censured for it became confounded ; but when 
they made a full and ornate oration, in well- 
chosen words, concerning their own licentious- 
ness, and were applauded for it, they boasted? 
Thou seest this, O Lord, and keepest silence, 
"long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and 
truth,'" as Thou art. Wilt Thou keep silence . 
for ever? And even now Thou drawest out of 
this vast deep the soul that seeketh Thee and 
thirsteth after Thy delights, whose "heart said 
unto Thee," I have sought Thy face, "Thy 
face, Lord, will I seek," * For I was far from 
Thy fece, through my darkened ' affections. 
For it is not by our feet, nor by change of place, 
that we either turn from Thee or return to Thee. ■ 
Or, indeed, did that younger son look out for 
horses, or chariots, or ships, or fly away with 
visible wings, or journey by the motion of his 
limbs, that he might, in a far country, prodi- 
gally waste all that Thou gavest him when he set 
out ? A kind Father when Thou gavest, and 
kinder still when he returned destitute]* So, 
then, in wanton, that is to say, in darkened af- 
fections, lies distance from Thy face. 

ag. Behold, O Lord God, and behold 
patiently, as Thou art wont to do, how dili- 
gently the sons of men observe the conventional 
rales of letters and syllables, received from those 
who spoke prior to them, and yet neglect the 
eternal rules of everlasting salvation received 
from Thee, insomuch that he who practises or 
teaches the hereditary rules of pronunciation, 
if, contrary to grammatical usage, he should say, 
without aspirating the first letter, a leman being, 
will offend men more than if, in opposition to 
Thy commandments, he, a human being, were 
to hate a human being. As if, indeed, any 
man should feel that an enemy could be more 
destructive to him than that hatred with which 
he is excited against him, or that he could de- 
stroy more utterly him whom he persecutes than 
he destroys his own soul by his enmity. And 
of a truth, there is no science of letters more 
innate than the writing of conscience — that he 
is doing unto another what he himself would 
not suffer. How mysterious art Thou, who in 
silence " d we I lest on high," 'Thou God, the 
only great, who by an unwearied law dealest 
out the punishment of blindness to illicit de- 
sires ! When a man seeking for the reputation 
of eloquence stands before a human judge while 



.ool.. Set Br Ch: Dti, \ 



j^,k™,„. 



54 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book I. 



a thronging multitude surrounds him, inveighs 
against his enemy with the most fierce hatred, 
he takes most vigilant heed that his tongue slips 
not into grammatical error, but takes no heed 
kst through the fury of his spirit he cut off a 
man from his fellow-men.* 

30. These were the customs in the midst of 
which I, unhappy boy, was cast, and on that 
arena it was that I was more fearful of perpetra- 
ting a barbarism than, having done so, of envy- 
ing those who had not. These things I declare 
and confess unto Thee, my God, for which I 
was applauded by them whom I then thought it 
my whole duty to please, for I did not perceive 
the gulf of infamy wherein I was cast away 
fhmi Thine eyes.* For in Thine eyes what was 
more infamous than I was already, displeasing 
even those like myself, deceiving with innumer- 
able lies both tutor, and masters, and parents, 
from love of play, a desire to see frivolous spec- 
tacles, and a stage-stuck restlessness, to imitate 
them? Pilferings I committed from ray 
pdu^nts' cellar and table, either enslaved by 
gluttony, or that I might have something to 
give to boys who sold me their play, who, 
though they sold it, liked it as well as I. In 
this play, likewise, I often sought dishonest 
victories, I myself being conquered by the vain 
desire of pre-eminence. And what could I so 
little endure, or, if I detected it, censured I so 
violently, as the very things I did to others, 
and, when myself detected I was censured, pre- 
ferred rather to quarrel than to yield ? Is this 
the innocence of childhood ? Nay, Lord, nay, 
Lord ; I entreat Thy mercy, O my God. For 
these same sins, as we grow older, are transferred 
from governors and masters, from nuts, and 
balls, and sparrows, to magistrates and kings, to 
gold, and lands, and slaves, just as the rod is 
succeeded by more severe chastisements. It 



• Literally, ** takes care not by a slip of the tongue to «ay infer 
Jbtminibus, but takes no care lest homtnem au/erat ex haminibtu'' 

* Pi. XXXX. 83. 



was, then, the stature of childhood that Thou, 

our King, didst approve of as an emblem of 
humility when Thou saidst : ** Of such is the 
kingdom of heaven. ' * ' 

31. But yet, O Lord, to Thee, most excel- 
lent and most good, Thou Architect and Gov- 
ernor of the universe, thanks had been due unto 
Thee, our God, even hadst Thou willed that I 
should not survive my boyhood. For I existed 
even then ; I lived, and felt, and was solicitous 
about my own well-being, — a trace of that most 
mysterious unity * from whence I had my being ; 

1 kept watch by my inner sense over the whole- 
ness of my senses, and in these insignificant 
pursuits, and also in my thoughts on things in- 
significant, I learnt to take pleasure in truth. 
I was averse to being deceived, I had a vigorous 
memory, was provided with the power of 
speech, was softened by friendship, shunned 
sorrow, meanness, ignorance. In such a being 
what was not wonderful and praiseworthy? But 
all these are gifts of my God ; I did not give 
them to myself; and they are good, and all 
these constitute myself. Good, then, is He 
that made me, and He is my God ; and before 
Him will I rejoice exceedingly for every good 
gift which, as a boy, I had. For in this lay my 
sin, that not in Him, but in His creatures — my- 
self and the rest — I sought for pleasures, hon- 
ours, and truths, falling thereby into sorrows, 
troubles, and errors. Thanks be to Thee, my 
joy, my pride, my confidence, my God — thanks 
be to Thee for Thy gifts; but preserve Thou 
them to me. For thus wilt Thou preserve me; 
and those things which Thou hast giv^i me 
shall be developed and perfected, and I myself 
shall be with Thee, for from Thee is my being. 

> Matt. xix. 14. See i. sec. 11, note 3, above. 

4 " To be is no other than to be one. In as far, therefore, at a«r- 
thinc aiuins unity, in so far it * is.' For unity worketh CDqgnMf 
and narmony. whereby things composite are in so far as they aic; 
for things uncompounoed are in themselves, because they are aatt\ 
but things compounded imitate unity by the harmony of their paits. 
and. so tar as they attain to unity, they are. Wheref<»e order and 
rule secure being, disorder tends to not being."— Auo. Og BitHk 
Manich. c. 6. 



BOOK II. 

HE ADVANCES TO PUBERTY, AND INDEED TO THE EARLY PART OF THE SIXTEENTH YEAR OF HJS 
AGE, IN WHICH, HAVING ABANDONED HIS STUDIES, HE INDULGED IN LUSTFUL PLEASURES, AND, 
WITH HIS COMPANIONS, COMMITTED THEFT. 

CHAP. I. — HE DEPLORES THE WICKEDNESS OF HIS didst hold Thy peacc, O Thou my tardy joy ! 

YOUTH. Thou then didst hold Thy peace, and I wan- 

I. I wni now caU to mind my past foulness, ^ered still farther from Thee, into more and 
and the carnal corruptions of my ^1, not be- more barren seed-plots of sorrows, with proud 
cause I love them, but that I may love Thee, O dejection and restl«« lassitude, 
my God. For love of Thy love do I it, recall- 3- Oh for one to have regulated my disorder 
ing, in the very bitterness of my remembrance, ^^ "P^<^ ^° my profit the fleeting beautira of 
ray most vicious ways, that Thou mayest grow ^^ ^^'""Sl around me and fixed a bound to 
sweet tome,-Thou sweetness without decep- their sweetness, so that he tides of my youth 
tion ! Thou sweetness happy and assured !■- ^'^^^ ^""^ fP^^^ themselves upon the conjugaj 
anH «.^oll«-t,na mv<«.1f nnt of fh:,t mv Hk<=i™. s^ore, if SO be they could not be tranqmllized 



among many vanities. For I even longed in "'^ v,.«h""K"' ""» "<=*"'. "^"'K -"-^ *-" «-m. 

my youth foirmerly to be satisfied with worldly * '^^"^''f ^ '%^'""' ^^l ^^"t "^'l^ "^"^ 

things, and I dared to grow wild again with e^l"ded from Thy paradise ! For Thy om- 

various and shadowy lov«; my form consumed n'Poten%Jf not far from us even when we are 

away,' and I became corrupt in Thine eyes, far /roni Thee, else in tnih ought I more vigil- 

pleadng myself, and eager to please in the eye^ ^'^y '° ^fY? S'^f" ^^"^ ^o uKTf ^T l^ 

of men clouds: ** Nevertheless, such shall have trouble 

in the flesh, but I spare you; ** • and, ** It is 

CHAP. Ii.-STRICKEN WITH EXCEEDING GRIEF, good for a man not to touch a woman J '• « and, 

HE REMEMBERS THE DISSOLUTE PASSIONS IN ' ^H^* '\ T'T'^^ ^^^u ^°' '^f ^'T 

WHICH, IN HIS SIXTEENTH YEAR, HE USED l''** ^^°"« \° '^^ ^'^^' ^°'^. ^^ "^7 P'^fe the 

TO INDULGE Lord ; but he that is married careth for the 

things that are of the world, how he may please 

2. But what was it that I delighted in save to his wife.*' * I should, therefore, have listened 

love and to be beloved ? But I held it not in more attentively to these words, and, being 

/ moderation, mind to mind, the bright path of severed " for the kingdom of heaven's sake,'* • 

friendship, but out of the dark concupiscence I would with greater happiness have expected 

! of the flesh and the effervescence of youth ex- Thy embraces. 

! halations came forth which obscured and over- 4. But I, poor fool, seethed as does the sea, 

cast my heart, so that I was unable to discern and, forsaking Thee, followed the violent course 

pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled of my own stream, and exceeded all Thy limi- 

confusedly within me, and dragged away my tations ; nor did I escape Thy scourges.' Fpr 

unstable youth into the rough places of unchaste what mortal can do so ? But Thou wert always 

desires, and plunged me into a gulf of infamy, by me, mercifully angry, and dashing with the 

» Thy anger had overshadowed me, and I knew bitterest vexations all my illicit pleasures, in 
it not. I was become deaf by the rattling of the order that I might seek pleasures free from vex- 
chains of my mortality, the punishment for my ation. But where I could meet with such ex- 
soul's pride ; and I wandered farther from Thee, cept in Thee, O Lord, I could not find, — 
and Thou didst "suffer"* me; and I was except in Thee, who teachest by sorrow,' and 

tossed to and fro, and wasted, and poured out, -— ; :: 

and boiled over in my fornications, and 'ITiou 4 ' cor! vu! ? * 



» X Cor. vii. 3a, 33. 

* MatL xix. X2. 

> Ps. xxxix. XI. T isau x. z6. 

* Mmtt. xrii. 17. > Deut. xxxii. 39. 



55 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, 



5« 

woundest us to heal us, and killest us that we 
may not die from Thee,' Where was I. and 
how far was I exiled from the delights of Thy 
house, in that sixteenth year of the age of my 
flesh, when the madness of lust — to the which 
human shamelessness granteth full freedom, 
although forbidden by Thy laws — held complete 
sway over me, and I resigned myself entirely 
to it ? Those about me meanwhile took no 
care to save me from ruin by marriage, their 
sole care being that I should learn lo make 
a pKJwerful speech, and become a persuasive 
orator. 

CHAP. III. CONCERNING HIS FATHER, A FREEMAN 

OF THAGASTE, THE ASSISTER OK His SON's 
STUDIES, AND ON THE ADMONITIONS OK HIS 
MOTHER ON THE PRESERVATION OF CHASTITV. 

5. And for that year my studies were inter- 
mitted, while after my return from Madaura' 
(a neighbouring city, whither I had begun lo 
go in order to learn grammar and rhetoric), the 
expenses for a further residence at (Jarthage 
were provided for me ; and that was rather by 
the determination than the means of my father, 
who was but a poor freeman of Thagastc. To 
whom do I narrate this? Not unto Thee, my 
God ; but before Thee unto my own kind, even 
to that small part of the human race wlio may 
chance to light upon these my writings. And 
to what end? That I and all who read the 
same may reflect out of what depths we are 
to cry unto Thee.* For what cometh nearer to 
Thine ears than a confessing heart and a life of 
faith? For who did not extol and praise my 
father, in that he went even beyond his means 
to supply his son with all the necessaries for a 
far journey for the sake of his studies? For 

^many far richer citizens did not the like for 
/their children. But yet this same father did, 
I not trouble himself how I grew towards Thi'e,( 
' nor how chaste I was, so long as I was skilful 
\ in speaking — however barren I was to Thy, 
\ tilling, O God, who art the sole true 

; good Lord of my heart, which is Thy field, 

6. But while, in that sixteenth year of m; 
age, I resided with my parents, having hoi: 
day from school for a time (this idleni 
being imposed upon me by my parents' net; 
sitous circumstances), the thorns of lust grewl 
rank over my head, and there was no hand 
to pluck them out. Moreover when my faiher. 



[Book IL 



1 Pa. icili. », Ck^. -' Ut. ■ FomlRI ImublE In or u a precept ' 

^ilt be a precqKID m, i.t. hul willed to la lilKlpUne aiid iiulruct 
thoK Thy SDiu. ihu they ihould nnt be wilhnul Teai, Icul Ilinr 
should luve (oneihinjz elic, uid forget Th«, cbeir true goud. ' 
— S. Aut, arf/oc.— E, B. P. 
'■'F.mierlv in epiicopiil ciiy; now a imiJI vilbBC. At lh« 



seeing me at the baths, jjerceived that I was 
becttming a man, and was stirred with a 
restiess youthfulness, he, as if from this an- 
ticijtating future descendants, joyfully told it 
to my mother; rejoicing in that intoxication 
wherein the world so often forgets Thee, 
its Creator, and falls in love with Thy creature 
instead of Thee, from the invisible wine of its 
own perversity turning and bowing down to the 
most infamous things. But in my mother's 
breast Thou hadst even now begun Thy temple, 
and the commencement of Thy holy habi- 
tation, whereas my fatherwasonly a catechumen 
OS yet, and that but recently. She then started 
up with a pious fear and trembling ; and, al- 
though I had not yet been baptized,' she feared 
tiiose crooked ways in which they walk who 
turn their back to Thee, and not their face.* 

7. Woe is me ! and dare I affirm that 
Thcu heldest Thy peace, O my God, while 
I sirayed farther from Thee? Didst Thou 
then hold Thy peace to rae? And whose 
words were they but Thine which by my 
mother. Thy faithful handmaid, Thou pouredst 
into my ears, none of which sank into my 
heart to make me do it ? For she desired, 
and I remember privately warned me, with great 
solicitude, "not to commit fornication; but 
above all things never to defile another 
man's wife." These appeared to me but 
womanish counsels, which I should blush to 
obey. But they were Thine, and I knew it not, 
and I thought that Thou heldest Thy peace, and 
that it was she who spoke, through whom Thou 
heldest not Thy peace to me, and in her peiwn 
wasi despised by me, her son, " the son of Thy 
handmaid. Thy servant.'" But this I knew not; 
and rushed on headlong with such blindness, 
that a mongst my equ a ls I was ashamed to be 
less shameless. w hen^I heard them pluming 
ihcmselves i mnn fheir disgra ce fiil ac ts, yea, and 
gloryinf^llthe more _in^ proportion to the 
greatness of th erFEasenes s ; ajid I to ok pleasure 
iirdoing^itj n ot lor ttie pleasuteVsake only, 
but for the praise. WFat is worthy of dis- 
praise but vice ? But I made myself out woise 
than I was, in order that I might not be dis- 
praised; and when in anything 1 had not 
sinned as the abandoned ones, I would affirm 
that I had done what 1 had not, that I might not 
ap(>ear abject for being more innocent, or of 
less esteem for being more chaste. 

8. Behold with what companiora I walked 
the streets of Babylon, in whose filth I was 
rolled, as if in cinnamon and precious oint- 
ments. And that I might cleave the more tena- 

* f^onJum fdrli, not having reheaned the articled of ihe Qirl^ 



7 pertuading then 



goepel.->E>>. 



Chaf. v.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



57 



ciously to its very centre, my invisible enemy 
trod me down, and seduced me, I being easily 
seduced. Nor did the mother of my flesh, al- 
though she herself had ere this fled "out of 
the midst of Babylon,* ' * — ^progressing, however, 
but slowly in the skirts of it, — in counselling me^ 
to chastity, so bear in mind what she had been 
told about me by her husband as to restrain in the 
limits of conjugal affection (if it could not be 
cut away to the quick) what she knew to be de- 
structive in the present and dangerous in the 
future. But she took no heed of this, for she 
was afraid lest a wife should prove a hindrance 
and a clog to my hopes. Not those hopes of 
the future world, which my mother had in Thee ; 
but the hope of learning, which both my par- 
ents were too anxious that I should acquire, — 
he, beca use he had little or no thoug ht of Thee, 
and bu£ vain thoughts tor me — she, because she 
cadculkttc that those usual courses of learning 
would not only be no drawback, but rather a 
furtherance towards my attaining Thee. For 
thus I conjecture, recalling as well as I can the 
dispositions of my parents. The reins, mean- 
time, were slackened towards me beyond the 
restraint of due severity, that I might play, 
yea, even to dissoluteness, in whatsoever I fan- 
cied. And in all there was a mist, shutting out 
from my sight the brightness of Thy truth, O 
my God ; and my iniquity displayed itself as 
from very " fatness." * 



CHAP. IV. HE COMMITS THEFT WITH HIS COM- 
PANIONS, NOT URGED ON BY POVERTY, BUT 
FROM A CERTAIN DISTASTE OF WELL-DOING. 

9. Theft is punished by Thy law, O Lord, 
and by the law written in men's hearts, which 
iniquity itself cannot blot out. For what thief 
will suffer a thief? Even a rich thief will not 
suffer him who is driven to it by want. Yet 
had I a desire to commit robbery, and did so, 
compelled neither by hunger, nor poverty, but 
through a distaste for well-doing, and a lustiness 
of iniquity. For I pilfered that of which I had 
already sufficient, and much better. Nor did I 
desire to enjoy what I pilfered, but the theft and 
sin itself. There was a pear-tree close to. our 
vineyard, heavily laden with fruit, which was 

(tempting neither for its colour nor its flavour. 
To shake and rob this some of us wanton young 
fellows went, late one night (having, according 
to our disgraceful habit, prolonged our games 
y in the streets until then), and carried away great 
loads, not to eat ourselves, but to fling to the very 
swine, having only eaten some of them ; and 
to do this pleased us all the more because it 
was not permitted. Behold my heart, O my 






1 Jer. n. 6. 
s Pk. Ixxiii. 7. 



God ; behold my heart, which Thou hadst pity 
upon when in the bottomless pit. Behold, 
now, let my heart tell Thee what it was seeking 
there, that I should be gratuitously wanton, liav- 
ing no induc ement to evil but the evil it self. It 

was foul, and"! lov^ H if. T InveA to ppinsK. 1 

loved my own error — not that for which I 
erred, but the error itself. Base soul, falling 
from Thy firmament to utter destruction — not 
seeking aught through the shame but the shame 
itself! 

CHAP. V. CONCERNING THE MOTIVES TO SIN, 

WHICH ARE NOT IN THE LOVE OF EVIL, BUT 
IN THE DESIRE OF OBTAINING THE PROPERTY 
OF OTHERS. 



10. There is a desirableness in all beautiful 
bodies, and in gold, and silver, and all things ; 
and in bodily contact sympathy is powerful, 
and each other sense hath his proper adapta- 
tion of body. Worldly honour hath also its 
glory, and the power of command, and of over- 
coming; whence proceeds also the desire for 
revenge. And yet to acquire all these, we 
must not depart from Thee, O Lord, nor deviate 
from Thy law. The life which we live here 
hath also its peculiar attractiveness, through 
a certain measure of comeliness of its own, 
and harmony with all things here below. The 
friendships of men also are endeared by a sweet 
bond, in the oneness of many souls. On ac- 
count of all these, and such as these, is sin 
committed; while through an inordinate pref- 
erence for these goods of a lower kind, the bet- 
ter and higher are neglected, — even Thou, our 
Lord God, Thy truth, and Thy law. For these 
meaner things have their delights, but not like 
unto my God, who hath created all things ; for 
in Him doth the righteous delight, and He is 
the sweetness of the upright in heart.' 

11. When, therefore, we inquire why a crime 
was committed, we do not believe it, unless it 
appear that there might have been the wish to 
obtain some of those which we designated 
meaner things, or else a fear of losing them. 
For truly they are beautiful and comely, al- 
though in comparison with those higher and 
celestial goods they be abject and contemptible. 
A man hath murdered another ; what was his 
motive ? He desired his wife or his estate ; or 
would steal to support himself; or he was afraid 
of losing something of the kind by him ; or, 
being injured, he was burning to be revenged. 
Would he commit murder without a motive, 
taking delight simply in the act of murder? 
Who would credit it ? For as for that savage 
and brutal man, of whom it is declared that he 
was gratuitously wicked and cruel, there is yet 



» Ps. Ixiv. xo. 



58 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book n. 



a motive assigned. "Lest through idleness," 
he says, " hand or heart should grow inac- 
tive."' And to what purpose? Why, even 
that, having once got possession of the city 
through that practice of wickedness, he might 
attain unto honours, empire, and wealth, and 
be exempt from the fear of the laws, and hia 
difficult circumstances from the needs of his 
family, and the consciousness of his own wick- 
t-dness. So it seems that even Catihne himself 
loved not his own villanies, but something else, 
which gave him the motive for committing 
them. 

CHAP. VI. — WHY HE DELIOHTED iV THAT THEFT, 
WHEN ALL THINGS WHICH UNKER THE APPEAR- 
ANCE or t;OOD INVITE TO VECE ARE TRUE AVD 
PERFECT IN GOD ALONE. 

i». What was it, then, that I, miserable one, 
so doted on in thee, thou theft of mine, thou 
deed of darkness, in that sixteenth year of my 
age? Beautiful thou wert not, since thou wen 
theft. But art thou anything, that so 1 may 
a^ue the case with thee? Those peais that we 
stole were fair to the sight, because they were 
Thy creation. Thou fairest' of all. Creator of 
all, Thou good God — (!od, the highest good, 
and my true good. Those pears truly were 
pleasant to the sight ; but it was not for them 
that my miserable soul lusted, for I had abund- 
ance of better, but those I plucked simply that 
I might steal. For, having plucked them, I 
threw them away, my sole gratification in them 
being my own sin, which I was plea.sed to 
enjoy. For if any of these pears entered my 
mouth, the -sweetener of it was my sin in eating 
it. And now, O Lord my God, I ask what it 
was in that theft of mine that caused me such 
delight ; and behold it hath no beauty in it — 
not such, I mean, as exists in jastice and wis- 
dom ; nor such as is in the mind, memory, 
senses, and animal life of nun ; nor yet such as 
ia the glory and beauty of the stars in their i 
courses ; or the earth, or the sea, teeming with I 
incipient life, to replace, as it is born, that ' 
which dccayeth ; nor, indeed, that false and ' 
shadowy beauty which pertaineth to deceptive ' 

13. For thus doth pride imitate high estate, ! 
whereas Thou alone art God, high above all. 
And what does ambition seek but honours and 
renown, whereas 'Z'hou alone art to be honoured 
above all, and renowned for evermore ? The 
<.Tuelty of the [wwerful wishes to be feared ; ■ 
but who is to be feared but God only,' out of 
whose power what can be forced away or with- 
drawn — when, or where, or whither, or by 



whom ? The enticements of the wanton would 
fain be deemed love ; and yet is naught more 
enticing than Thy charity, nor is aught loved 
more healthfully than that. Thy truth, bright 
and beautiful above all. Curiosity aJTects a 
desire for knowledge, whereas it is Thou who 
supremely knowest all things. Yea, ignorance 
and foolishness themselves are concealed under 
the names of ingenuousness and harmlessness, 
because nothing can be found more ingenuous 
than Thou ; and what is more harmless, since it 
is a sinner's own works by which he is harmed?* 
And sloth seems to long for rest ; but what sure 
rest is there besides the Lord ? Luxury would 
tain be called plenty and abundance; but Thou 
art the fulness and unfailing plenteousness of 
unfading joys. Prodigality presents a shadow 
of liberality ; but Thou art the most lavish 
giver of all good. Covetousness desires to 
possess much ; and Thou art the Posi^essor of 
all things. Envy contends for excellence ; but 
what so excellent as Thou? Anger seeks re- 
venge ; who avenges more justly than Thou ? 
Fear starts at unwonted and sudden chances 
which threaten things beloved, and is wary for 
their security ; but what can happen that is un- 
wonted or siidden to Thee? or who can deprive 
Thee of what Thou lovest ? or where is there 
unshaken security save with Thee? Grief lan- 
guishes for things lost in which desire had 
delighted itself, even because it would have 
nothing taken from it, as nothing can be from 
Thee. 

14. Thus doth the soul commit fornication 
when she turns away from Thee, and seeks 
without Tliee what she cannot find pure and 
untainted until she returns to Thee. Thus all 
[ler verted ly imitate Thee who separate them- 
selves far from lliee* and raise themselves up 
against Thee. But even by thiLs imitating Thee 
they acknowledge Thee to be the Creator of all 
nature, and so that there is no place whither 
they can altogether retire from lliee.' What, 
then, was it that I loved iii that theft ? And 
wherein did 1, even corru|)tedly and pervertedly, 
imitate my Lord ? Did 1 wish, if only by arti- 
fice, to act contrary to Thy law, because by 
power I could not, so that, being a captive, I 
might imitate an imperfect liberty by doing with 
impunity things which I was not allowed to do, 
in obscured likeness of Thy omnipotency?* 
Behold this servant of Thine, fleeing from his 
Lord, and following a shadow ;' O rottenness! 
monstrosity of life and profundity of death ! 



*" Fe'F even Miuli) in their vtry txnt^ f^rive after nolhing «l«c but 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



59 



CHAP. VII. — HE GIVES THANKS TO GOD FOR THE 
REMISSION OF HIS SINS, AND REMINDS EVERY 
ONE THAT THE SUPREME GOD MAY HAVE PKE- 
SERVED US PROM GREATER SINS. 

15. "What shall I render unto the Lord,"' 
that whilst my memory recalls these things my 
soul is not appalled at them ? I will love Thee, 

Lord, and thank Thee, and confess unto Thy 
name,' because Thou hast put away from me. 
these so wicked and nefarious acts of mine. 
To Thy grace I attribute it, and to Thy merry, 
that Thou hast melted away my sin as it were 
ice. To Thy grace also I attribute whatsoever 
of evil I have not committed ; for what might 

1 not have committed, loving as I did the sin 
for the sin's sake? Yea, all I confess to have 
been pardoned me, both those which I com- 
mitted by my own perverseness, and those which, 
by Thy guidance, I committed not. Where is 
he who, reflecting upon his own infirmity, dares 
to ascribe his chastity and innocency to his own 
strength, so that he should love Thee the less, 
as if he had been in less need of Thy mercy, 
whereby Thou dost forgive the transgressions of 
those that turn to Thee? For whosoever, called 
by Thee, obeyed Thy voice, and shunned those 
things which he reads me recalling and confess- 
ing of myself, let him not despise me, who, being 
sick, was healed by that same Physician* by 
whose aid it was that he was not sick, or rather 
was less sick. And for this let him love Thee 
as much, yea, all the more, since by whom he 
sees me to have been restored from so great a 
feebleness of sin, by Him he sees himself from 
a like feebleness to have been preserved. 

CHAP. VIII. IN HIS THEFT HE LOVED THE COM- 
PANY OF HIS FELLOW-SINNERS. 

16. "What fruit had I then,"* wretched 
one, in those things which, when 1 remember 
them, cause me shame — above all in that thefi, 
■which I loved only for the theft's sake ? And 
as the theft itself was nothing, all the more 
wretched was 1 who loved it. Yet by mysel f 
alone I would not have done it — t recall what 



■was that alone that I loved, for the^ companion 



thereof? What is it that hath come into my 
mind to inquire about, to discuss, and to reflect 
upon ? For had I at that time loved the pears 
I stole, and wished to enjoy them, I might have 
done so alone, if I could have l>een satisfied 
with the mere commission of the theft by which 
ray pleasure was secured ; nor needed I have 
provoked that itching of my own pa.ssions, by 
the encouragement of accomplices. But as my 
enj oyme nt was not in those peats, it waa in the 
crime llscit, which the company of my fell ow- 
sinners produced. 



1 7. By what feelings, then, was I animated ? 
For it was in truth too shamefii! ; and woe was 
me who had it. But still what was it ? '■ Whi^ 
can understand his errors?"' We laughed,' 
because our hearts were tickled at the thought ^ 
of deceiving those who little imagined what w. 
were doing, and would have vehemently disap 
proved of it. Yet, again, why did I so rejoic 
in this, that I did it not alone? Is it that m 
one readily laughs aione? No one does si 
readily ; but yet sometimes, when men ar 
alone by themselves, nobody being by, a fit of I 
laughter overcomes them when anything very ' 
droll presents itself to their senses or n " ' 
Yet alone I would not have done it — alone I 
could not at all have done it. Behold, my God, 
the lively recollection of my soul is laid bare 
before Thee — alone I had not committed that 
theft, wherein what I stole pleased me not, but ,' 
rather the act of stealing ; nor to have done it 
alone would I have liked so well, neither would I / 
have done it. O Friendship too unfriendly ! 
thou mysterious seducer of the soul, thou greedi- 
ness to do mischief out of mirth and wanton- 
ness, thou craving for others' loss, without desire i 
for my own profit or revenge ; but when they^ 
say, " Let us go, let us do it," we are ashamed\ 
not to be shameless. / 



18. Who can unravel that twisted and tangled 
knottiness? It is foul. I hate to reflect on it. 
I hate to look on it. But thee do I long for, O 
righteousness and innocency, fair and comely to 
all virtuous eyes, and of a satisfaction that never 
palls ! With thee is perfect rest, and life un- 
changing. He who enters into thee enters into 
the joy of his Lord,* and shall have no fear, and 
shall do excellently in the most Excellent. I 
.sank away from 'J'hee, O my God, and I wan- 
dered too (ar from Thee, my stay, in my youth, 
and became to myself an unfruitful land. 



BOOK III. 

OF THE SEVENTEENTH, EIGHTEENTH, AND NINETEENTH YEARS OF HIS AGE, PASSED AT CARTHAGE, 
WHEN, HAVING COMPLETED HIS COURSE OF STUDIES, HE IS CAUGHT IN THE SNARES OF A LICEN- 
TIOUS PASSION, AND FALLS INTO THE ERRORS OF THE MANIC H^ANS. 

CHAP. I. — DELUDED BY AN INSANE LOVE, HE, whcH viewing dolcful and tragical scenes, which 

THOUGH FOUL AND DISHONOURABLE, DESIRES yet he himself would by no means suffer ? And 

TO BE THOUGHT ELEGANT AND URBANE. yet he wishcs, as a Spectator, to experience from 

I. To Carthage I came, where a cauldron of ''?«"' * ^"'^ °^ ^''^^u""^ •'" ^u^ ^"^ grief his 
unholy loves bSbbled up all around me. I pleasure consists. What is this but wretched 
loved not as yet, yet I loved to love ; and, with '"sa^'ty ? ^ot a man is more aff«:ted with 
a hidden want, I abhorred myself that I wanted 'hese actions the less free he is from such 
not. I searched about for something to love, =^ffections. Howsoever, when he suffers m his 
in love with loving, and hating security, and a o^n person, it is the custoin to style it "mis- 
way not beset with snares. For within me I ^'X' ^^ T;''^'' he com^ionat^ others, then 
had a dearth of that inward food. Thyself, my 1' '^^^^'"'^ "mercy. « But what kind of mercy 
God, though that dearth caased me no hunger ; "! '^ i*"^' ?"f f™"? *^''*'^°"' and scenic pas- 
hut I remained without all desire for incorrupti- ?'°"^? T ^- ^'f "^ °° expected to relieve. 
We food, not because I was already filled thereby, ^"* """^'y '"^'^^^ *° ^'^''J > ^^ '^« ""ff ^^ 
but the more empty I was the more I loathed f T^' ^\"'?^^, ^^ applauds the actor of these 
it. For this reason my soul was far from well, f ^"°"^- /^"^ '/ *^j= n»sfortunes of the charac- 
and, full of ulcers, it miserably cast itself forth, '^^ (whether of olden times or merely imagi- 
craving to be excited by contact with objects ?"/> ^ so represented as not to touch the 
of sense. Yet, had thes^ no soul, they would ^'^^''T "^ ^^^ spectator he goes away dis- 
not surely inspire love. TjUim^nd to be P'^t^^^^ censorious ; but if his feelings be 
Igjsd w^swe^Jams^^^T^^ ouched, he sits it out attentively, and sheds 

I succeededlin enjoyingj&ilperson T IbvedT' I '^ , ^°^' ,, , , j -> r, i .1 

lkTbdid:Tl^efo-;?r^i^riHg ^-friendship 3- Are sorrows, then also loved ? Surely all 

with the filth of concupLscencefand I dimmed |"^" desire to rejoice? Or as man wishes to 

its lustre with the hell of lustfulness ; and yet, ^ «>'serable, is he, neverthele^, g;lad to be 

foul and dishonourable as I was, I craved, through merciful which, because it cannot exist without 

an excess of vanity, to be thought elegant and .I?i!f:"°"' '^^ V cai^ alone are passions lov«l? 

urbane. LfcU Drecinitatelv. then, into the love ^^'\ ^•'^°.'^ fr?"" *¥ \"" Pf friendship. But 



JfiUprecipitately, then, into the love ' Z -"'" " "^"' "'"' ''^"."' "«""=>"'H- »ui 

1SK^iatobrii!5n gred7--M:v--G5a. i^""^^? ^*^ ". ^o? Whither does it flow? 

my mercyri?itli how muHinsitterness didst Wherefore runs it into that torrent of pitch,' 

Thou, out of Thy infinite goodness, besprinkle f ^'•^^"g ^°'}^ J'?"^ ^g« ^'^^J"! loathsome 

/fcr me that sweetness ! For I was both bdoved, "".*' '"'j? .*'^"^*' " is changed and transformed, 

Btly arrived at the bond of enjoy 

joyfully bound with troublesome 

, * ....ght be scourged with the burninc; n^^it r ^ i_ .• t» ^ i. /• 

\ rods ofjealousy, suspicion, fear, anger, and strife. ^^"^; ^^^^ ^^7?^ sometimes But beware of 

\ J' r 7,0, uncleanness, O my soul, under the protection 

Vhap. II.— in public spectacles he is moved f "'y 9of ^^% God of our fathers, who is to 

BY AN EMFFV COMPASSION. HE IS ATTACKED }^ ^^'^^ ^"«^ ^"^^^^^ ^^"f .*" ^^^ ^^"' 

BY A TROUBLESOME SPIRITUAL DISEASE. ^'^^'? ''^ uncleanness. For I nave not now 

ceased to have compassion ; but then in the 

2. Stage-plays also drew me away, full of theatres I sympathized with lovers when they 

representations of my miseries and of fuel to sinfully enjoyed one another, although this was 



-in which I 



my fire. ^ Why does man like to be made sad 



• Sec i. 9, note, above. 



»The early Fathers strongly reprobated stage-plays, and those « An allusion, probably, as Watts suggests, to the sea of Sodom, 

who went to them were excluded from bantism. iTiis is not to be which, according to Tacitus (//«/. book v.), throws up bitumen ** at 

wondered at, when we learn that " even the laws of Rome prohib- stated seasons 0? the year." Tacitus likewise alludes to its pestif- 

ited actors from being enrolled as citizeas " (De Civ. Dei, ii. 14), and erous odour, and to its being deadly to birds and fish. See also Gca. 

that they were accounted infamous (Tertullian, De SJ^cUu. sec. xiv. 3, 10. 

xxii.). See also Tertullian, ZV Pudicitia, c. vii. « Song of the Three Holy Children, verse 3. 

60 



Chap. IV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



6i 



done fictitiously in the play. And when they 
lost one another, I grieved with them, as if 
pitying them, and yet had delight in both. 
But now-a-dajrs I feel much more pity for him 
that delighteth in his wickedness, than for him 
who is counted as enduring hardships by failing 
to obtain some pernicious pleasure, and the loss, 
of some miserable felicity. This, surely, is the 
truer mercy, but grief hath no delight in it. 
For though he that condoles with the unhappy 
be approved for his office of charity, yet would 
he who had real compassion rather there were 
nothing for him to grieve about. For if good- 
will be ill-willed (which it cannot), then can he 
who is truly and sincerely commiserating wish 
that there should be some unhappy ones, that 
he might commiserate them. Some grief may 
then be justified, none loved. For thus dost 
Thou, O Lord God, who lovest souls far more 
purely than do we, and art more incorruptibly 
compassionate, although Thou art wounded by 
no sorrow. "And who is sufficient for these 
things? "» 

4. But I, wretched one, then loyedLtougrkye, 
and sought out what to grieve at, as when, 
in another man's misery, though feigned and 
rounterfeited, that delivery of the actor best 
pleased me, and attracted me the most power- 
fully, which moved me to tears. What mar- 
vel was it that an unhappy sheep, straying from 
Thy flock, and impatient of Thy care, I be- 
came infected with a foul disease ? And hence 
came my love of griefe — ^not such as should 
j>robe me too deeply, for I loved not to 
suffer such things as I loved to look upon, but 
such as, when hearing their fictions, should 
lightly affect the surface; upon which, like as 
with empoisoned nails, followed burning, swell- 
ip.g, putrefaction, and horrible corruption. Such 
was my life I But was it life, O my God? 

CHAP. III. ^NOT EVEN WHEN AT CHURCH DOES 

HE SUPPRESS HIS DESIRES. IN THE SCHOOL OF 
RHETORIC HE ABHORS THE ACT^ OF THE SUB- 
VERTERS. 

5. And Thy ^thful mercy hovered over me 
afar. Upon what unseemly iniquities did 1 
wear inyself out, following a sacrilegious curi- 
osity, that, having deserted Thee, it might 
drag me into the treacherous abyss, and to the 
beguiling obedience of devils, unto whom I im- 
molated my wicked deeds, and in all which 
Thou didst scourge me ! I dared, even while 
Thy solemn rites were being celebrated within 
the walls of Thy church, to desire, and to plan 
a business sufficient to procure me the fruits of 
death; for which Thou chastisedst me with 
grtevous punishments, but nothing in compari- 



i«Cor. U.16. 



son with my fault, O Thou my greatest mercy, 
my God, my refuge from those terrible hurts, 
among which I wandered with presumptuous 
neck, receding farther from Thee, loving my 
own ways, and not Thine — loving a vagrant 
liberty. 

6. Those studies, also, which were accounted 
honourable, were directed towards the courts 
of law; t o excel in w hich, the more crafty 

I was, th e more \ slinnTH' TSe" ^p^ aiseVT Such 

is the blindness of men, that they even glory 
in their blindness. AiuLnottJ^was head in 
t he School of Rhetoric^ wh ereat T rejoiced 
p^udly, and berjime inflated with arrogance, 
thQiighrnnre sedate, O T^rd, a*; Thou knowSt . 

and altogether removed from the subvertmgs of 
those ** subverters " * (for this stupid and dia- 
bolical name was held to be the very brand of 
gallantry) amongst whom I lived, with an impu- 
dent shamefacedness that I was not even as they 
were. A pd with them I was, and at times I 
was delighted with their friendship whose act s 
•f" cver abhorred, that is, their "subverting ^** 
wherewith they ins olently attacked the modes ty 
or^scrangers, "WlTicH they disturbed by uncalled 
for jeers," gratifying thereby their mischievous 
mirth. Nothing can more nearly resemble the 
actions of devils than these. By what name, 
therefore, could they be more truly called than 
* ' subverters ' 7 — being themselves subverted 
first, and altogether perverted — ^being secretly 
mocked at and seduced by the deceiving spirits, 
in what they themselves delight to jeer at and 
deceive others. 

C^AP. rv. IN THE NINETEENTH YEAR OF HIS^X^ 

AGE (his FATHER HAVING DIED TWO YEARS 
BEFORE) HE IS LED BY THE ** HORTENSIUS** OP 
CICERO TO ** PHILOSOPHY," TO GOD, AND A 
BETTER MODE OF THINKING. 

7. Among such as these, at that unstable 
period of my life, I studied books of eloquence, 
wherein I was eager to be eminent from a dam- 
nable and inflated purpose, even a delight in 
human vanity. In the ordinary course of study, 
I lighted upon a certain book of Cicero, whose 
language, though not his heart, almost all ad- 
mire. This book of his contains an exhorta- 
tion to philosophy, and is called Hortensius. 
This book, in truth, changed my affections, and 
turned my prayers to Thyself, O Lord, and 
made me have other hopes and desires. Worth- 
less suddenly became every vain hope to me ; 
and, with an incredible warmth of heart, I 

■ Ei'ersores. " These for their boldness were like our ' Roarers/ 
and for their jeering like the worser sort of those that would be called 
* The Wits/ "— W. W. •• This appears to have been a name 
which a pestilent and savage set of persons gave themselves, licen- 
tious alike in speech and action. Augustin names them again, ZV 
Vera Relig: c. 40 ; Ep. 185 ad Boni/ac. c. 4 ; and below, v. c. xa ; 
whence they seemed to have consisted mainly of Carthaginian stu- 
dents, whose savage life is mentioned again, tb. c. 8." — £. B. P. 



62 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book III. 



yearned for an immortality of wisdom, ^ and 
began now to arise * that I might return to Thee. 
Not, then, to improve my language — which I ap- 
peared to be purchasing with my mother's means, 
in that my nineteenth year, my father having 
died two years before — not to improve my lan- 
guage did I have recourse to that book; nor 
did it persuade me by its style, but its matter. 

8. How ardent was I then, my God, how 
ardent to fly from earthly things to Thee ! Nor 
did I know how Thou wouldst deal with me. 
For with Thee is wisdom. In Greek the love 
of wisdom is called *' philosophy," ' with which 
that book inflamed me. There be some who 
seduce through philosophy, under a great, and 
alluring, and honourable name colouring and 
adorning their own errors. And almost all 
who in that and former times were such, are in 
that book censured and pointed out. There 
is also disclosed that most salutary admonition 
of Thy Spirit, by Thy good and pious servant : 
** Beware lest any man spoil you through phil- 
osophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of 
men, after the rudiments of the world, and not 
after Christ : for in Him dwelleth all the ful- 
ness of the Godhead bodily.*' * And since at 
that time (as Thou, O Light of my heart, know- 
est) the words of the apostle were unknown to 
me, I was delighted with that exhortation, in so 
far only as I was thereby stimulated, and enkin- 
dled, and inflamed to love, seek, obtain, hold, 
and embrace, not this or that 5ect, but wis- 
dom itself, whatever it were ; and this alone 
checked me thus ardent, that the name of 
Christ was not in it. For this name, according 
to Thy mercy, O Lord, this name of my Sav- 
iour Thy Son, had my tender heart piously 
drunk in, deeply treasured even with my moth- 
er's milk; and whatsoever was without that 
name, though never so erudite, polished, and 
truthful, took not complete hold of me. 

CHAP. v. — HE REJECTS THE SACRED SCRIFFURES 
AS TOO SIMPLE, AND AS NOT TO BE COMPARED 
WITH THE DIGNITY OF TULLY. 

9. I resolved, therefore, to direct my mind 
to the Holy Scriptures, that I might see what 
they were. And behold, I perceive something 
not comprehended by the proud, not disclosed to 
children, but lowly as you approach, sublime as 
you advance, and veiled in mysteries ; and I 
was not of the number of those who could enter 



*Up to the time of Cicero the Romans employed the term 
sapientia for ^lAotroi^ia (Monl)oddo*s Ancient Metaphys. i. 5). It 
U mtcre»ting to watch the effect of the philosophy in which they 
had been trained on the writings of some of the Fathers. Even 
Justin Martyr, the first after the " Apostolic," has traces of 
this influence. See the account of his search for " wisdom/' and 
conversion, in his Dialogue "witk Trypko^ ii. and iii. 

* Luke XV. 18. 

* See above, note i. 
«Col. ii. 8,9. 



into it, or bend my neck to follow its steps. 
For not as when now I sj^eak did I feel when 
I turned towards those Scriptures,* but they 
appeared to me to be unworthy to be compared 
with the dignity of TuUy ; for my inflated 
pride shunned their style, nor could the sharp- 
ness of my wit pierce their inner meaning. • 
Yet, truly, were they such as would devejope in 
little ones ; but I scorned to be a little one, 
and, swollen with pride, I looked upon m)rself 
as a great one. 

ChIp. VI. — DECEIVED BY HIS OWN FAULT, HE 

FALLS INTO THE ERRORS OF THE MANICHiEANS, 

AvHO GLORIED IN THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF 

\ /god and in a thorough EXAMINATION OF 

W THINGS. 

10. Therefore I fell among men proudly 
raving, very carnal, and voluble, in whose 
mouths were the snares of the devil — the bird- 
lime being composed of a mixture of the sylla- 
bles of Thy name, and of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and of the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, 
the Comforter.^ These names departed not out 
of their mouths, but so far forth as the sound 
only and the clatter of the tongue, for the heart 
was empty of tnith. Still they cried, " Truth, 
Truth," and spoke much about it to me, "yet 
was it not in them;"® but they spake falsely 
not of Thee only — who, verily, art the Truth 
— but also of these elements of this world^ Thy 



^ In connection with the opinion Augustin formed of the Scrip- 
tures before and after hu conversion, it is interestioj^ to recall 
Fcn61on's glowing description of the literary merit of the Bible. 
The whole passage might well be quoted did space permit : — 
" L'Ecriture surpasse en naivete, en vivaciti, en grandeur, totts les 
ecrivains de Rome ct dc la (rricc. Jamais Horoerc m£nie n'a ap- 
prochi de la sublimit^ de Moise dans ses cantiques. . . . Ja- 
mais nuUe ode Grccque ou I^tine n 'a pu atteindre A la hauteur dcs 
Psaumes. . . . Jamais Homer^ ni aucun autre poete n'a <gal£ 
Isaie peignant la majcsti de Dieu. . . . Tantot ce profrfito 4 
toute la douceur ct toute la tendresse d'une iglogue, dans les riantes 
peintures qu'il fait de la paix ; tantot il s'eleve jusqu' i laisfter tout 
au-dessous de lui. Mais qu'y a>-t-il, dans I'antiquit^ profaoe, dc 
comparable au tendrc Jdrcmie, deplorant les maux dc son peuple; 
ou & Nahum, voyant de loin, en esprit, torn her la superbe Ninhre 
sous les efforts d'une armee innombrable? On croit voir cetle 
armec, ou croit entendre le bruit des armes et des chariots : tout est 
dipeint d'une maniere vive qui salsit 1' imagination ; il latsse Hoinb« 
loin derri^rc lui. . . . Enfin, il y a autant de difference entre les 
poetes profanes et les prophetcs, qu'il y en a entre le veritable 
enthousiasme et le faux." — Sur f Eloq. tU la Ckaire, Dial. Ul. 

«That is probably the "spiritual" meaning on which Ambrose 
(vi. 6, below) laid so much emphasis. How (unerent is the attitude 
of mind indicated in xi. 3 from the spiritual pride which beset him 
at this period of his life ! When converted ne became as a little 
child, and ever looked to God as a Father, from whom he must re- 
ceive both light and strength. He speaks, on l*s. cxlvi., of the 
Scriptures, wnich were plain to " the little ones." being obsoired to 
the mockins spirit of the Manichacans. See also below, iii. i^, note. 

7 So, in Hook xxii. sec. 13 of his reply to Faustus, he charges 
them with " professing to believe the New Testament in order to 
entrap the unwary ; " and again, in sec. 15, he says : " They claim 
the impious liberty of holding and teaching, that whatever they 
deem favourable to their heresy wa>4 said by Christ and the apostles ; 
while thev have the profane Duldness to say, that whatever in the 
same writings is unfavourable to them is a spurious inter]>olation." 
They professed to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, but affirmed 
(ibia. XX. 6) ** that the Father dwells in a secret light, the nower of 
the Son in the sun, and His wisdom in the moon, and tne Holy 
Spirit in the air." It was this employment of the phmseoloey of 
Scripture to convey doctrines utterly unscriptural that rendered 
their teaching such a snare to the unwary, bee also below, v. 12, 
note. 

* I John ii. 4. 



Chap. VIL] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



6i 



creatures. And I, in truth, should have passed 
by philos6phers, even when speaking truth con- 
cerning them, for love of Thee, my Father, 
supremely good, beauty of all things beautiful ! 
O Truth, Truth ! how inwardly even then did 
the marrow of my soul pant after Thee, when 
they frequently, and in a multiplicity of ways, 
and in numerous and huge books, sounded out 
Thy name to me, though it was but a voice ! * 
And these were the dishes in which to me, hun- 
gering for Thee, they, instead of Thee, served 
up the sun and moon. Thy beauteous works — 
but yet Thy works, not Thyself, nay, nor Thy 
first works. For before these corporeal works 
are Thy spiritiial ones, celestial and shining 
though they be. But I hungered and thirsted 
not even after those first works of Thine, but 
after Thee Thyself, the Truth, ** with whom is 
no variableness, neither shadow of turning;"* 
yet they still Served up to me in those dishes 
glowing phantasies, than which better were it to 
love this very sun (which, at least, is true to our 
sight), than those illusions which deceive the 
mind through the eye. And yet, because I 
supposed them to be Thee, I fed upon them ; 
not with avidity, for Thou didst not taste to 
my mouth as Thou art, for Thou wast not these 
empty fictions; neither was I nourished by 
them, but the rather exhausted. Food in our 
sleep appears like our food awake; yet the 
sleepers are not nourished by it, for they are 
asleep. But those things were not in any way 
like unto Thee as Thou hast now spoken unto 
me, in that those were corporeal phantasies, 
false bodies, than which these true bodies, 
whether celestial or terrestrial, which we per- 
ceive with our fleshly sight, are much more 
certain. These things the very beasts and birds 
perceive as well as we, and they are more cer- 
tain than when we imagine them. And again, 
we do with more certainty imagine them, than 
by them conceive of other greater and infinite 
bodies which have no existence. With such 
empty husks was I then fed, and was not fed. 
But Thou, my Love, in looking for whom I 
fail* that I may be strong, art neither those 
bodies that we see, although in heaven, nor art 
Thou those which we see not there ; for Thou 
liast created them, nor dost Thou reckon them 



1 There was something peculiarly enthralling to an ardent mind 
like ^^igusttn's in the M.inichxan ' system . Inat system was kin- 
dred in many ways to modern Rationalism. Reason was exalted at 
the expense of faith. Nothing was received on mere authority, and 
the dtsciple'ft inner consciousness was the touchstone of truth. The 
result of this is well pointed out by Augustin {Coh. Fatut, xxxii. sec. 
19) : •* Your design, clearly, is to deprive Scripture of all authority, 
and to make every man's mind the judge what pxssage of Scripture 
he b to approve of, and what to disapprove of. This is not to be 
subject to ocripture in matters of faitn, but to make Scripture sub- 
ject to you. Instead of making the high authority of Scripture the 
reason of approval, every man makes his approval the reason for 
thinking a passage correct." Compare also Con. Faust^ xi. sec. 2, 
and xxxii. sec. 16. 



« las. I. 17 
*Pk. Ldx. 



amongst Thy greatest works. How far, then, 
art Thou from those phantasies of mine, phan- 
tasies of bodies which are not at all, than which 
the images of those bodies which are, are more 
certain, and still more certain the bodies them- 
selves, which yet Thou art not; nay, nor yet 
the soul, which is the life of the bodies. Better, 
then, and more certain is the life of bodies than 
the bodies themselves. But Thou art the life 
of souls, the life of lives, having life in Thy* 
self; and Thou changest not, O Life *of my soul. 

11. Where, then, wert Thou then to me, and 
how far from me ? Far, indeed, w^as I wander- 
ing away from Thee, being even shut out from 
the very husks of the swine, whom with husks 
I fed.* For how much better, then, are the 
fables of the grammarians and poets than these 
snares ! For verses, and poems, and Medea 
flying, are more profitable truly than these men's 
five elements, variously painted, to answer to 
the five caves of darkness,* none of which exist, 
and which slay the believer. For verses and 
poems I can turn into* true food, but the 
"Medea flying,** though I sang, I maintained 
it not ; though I heard it sung, I believed it 
not ; but those things I did believe. Woe, 
woe, by what steps was I dragged down "to 
the depths of hell ! **^ — toiling and turmoiling 
through want of Truth, when I sought after 
Thee, my God, — to Thee I confess it, who 
hadst mercy on me when I had not yet con- 
fessed, — sought after Thee not according to the 
understanding of the mind, in which Thou 
desiredst that I should excel the beasts, but 
according to the sense of the flesh ! Thou 
wert more inward to me than my most inward 
part ; and higher than my highest. I came 
upon that bold woman, who " is simple, and 
knoweth nothing,"* the enigma of Solomon, 
sitting "at the door of the house on a seat," 
and saying, " Stolen waters are sweet, and 
bread eaten in secret is pleasant.*'* This 
woman seduced me, because she found my 
soul beyond its portals, dwelling in the eye of 
my flesh, and thinking on such food as through 
it I had devoured. 

CHAP. VII. — HE ATTACKS THE DOCTRINE OF THE 
MANICHiEANS CONCERNING EVIL, GOD, AND THE 
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PATRIARCHS. 

12. For I was ignorant as to that which really 
is, and was, as it were, violently moved to give 

* Luke XV. 16 ; and see below, vi. sec. 3, note. 

* Sec below, xii. sec. 6, note, 

*"Of this passage St. Aucustin is probably speaking when he 
says, ' Praises bestowed on bread in simplicity of heart, let him 
(Pctilian) defame, if he will, by the ludicrous title of poisoning and 
corrupting frenzy.' Augustin meant in mockery, that by verses he 
could get nis bread : his calumniator seems to have twisted the word 
to signify a love-potion. — Con. Lit. Petiliani, iii. 16." — E. B. P. 

' Prov. ix. 18, 

* Prov, ix. 13, 

» Prov. ix. 14, 17. 



64 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book III. 



my support to foolish deceivers, when they 
asked me, "Whence is evil?"* — ^and, '*Is 
God limited by a bodily shape, and has He 
hairs and nails?" — and, **Are they to be es- 
teemed righteous who had many wives at once, 
and did kill men, and sacrificed living crea- 
tures ? " ' At which things I, in my ignorance, 
was much disturbed, and, retreating from the 
truth, I appeared to myself to be going towards 
it; because as yet I knew not that evil was 
naught but a privation of good, until in the 
end it ceases altogether to be; which how 
should I see, the sight of whose eyes saw no 
further than bodies, and of my mind no further 
than a phantasm ? And I knew not God to be 
a Spirit,' not one who hath parts extended in 
length and breadth, nor whose being was bulk ; 
for every bulk is less in a part than in the whole, 
and, if it be infinite, it must be less in such 
part as is limited by a certain space than in its 
infinity ; and cannot be wholly everywhere, as 
Spirit, as God is. And what that should be in 
us^ by which we were like unto God, and might 
rightly in Scripture be said to be after ** the 
image of God,"* I was entirely ignorant. 

13. Nor had I knowledge of that true inner 
righteousness, which doth not judge according 
to custom, but out of the most perfect law of 
God Almighty, by which the manners of places 
and times were adapted to those places and 
times — being itself the while the same always 
and everywhere, not one thing in one place, 
and another in another ; according to which 
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, 
and David, and all those commended by the 
mouth of God were righteous,* but were judged 
unrighteous by foolish men, judging out of 
man's judgment,* and gauging by the petty 
standard of their own manners the manners of 
the whole human race. Like as if in an ar- 
moury, one knowing not what were adapted to 
the several members should put greaves on his 
head, or boot himself with a helmet, and then 
complain because they would not fit. Or as if, 
on some day when in the afternoon business 
was forbidden, one were to fume at not being 
allowed to sell as it was lawful to him in the 
forenoon. Or when in some house he sees a 



' The strange mixture of the pensive philosophy of Persiai with 
Gnosticism and Christianity, propounded by Manichxus, attempted 
to solve this <]ucstii)n, which was " the great object of heretical 
inquiry" (Maiusel's Gnostics, lee. i.). It was Augustin's desire for 
knowledge concerning it that united him to this sect, and which also 
led him to forsake it, when he found therein nothing but empty 
fobles {De Lib. Arb. i. sec. 4^. Manichaetis taught that evil and j 
good were primeval, and had independent existences. Augustin, I 
on the other hand, maintains that it was not possible for evil so to 1 
exist {^Dt Civ. Dei, xi, sec. 22), but, as he here states, evil is " a 
privation of gtKxl." The evil will has a causa deficiens, but not a 
cmusa ejjiciens [ibid. x\\. 6), as is exemplified m the fall of the 
angeU. 

■I Kings xviii. 40. 

• John IV. 24. 

• Gen. i. 27 ; see vi. sec. 4, note. 
» Heb. xi. 8-40. 

• z Cor. iv. 3. 



servant take something in his hand which the 
butler is not permitted to touch, or something 
done behind a stable which would be prohibited 
in the dining-room, and should be indignant 
that in one house, and one family, the same 
thing is not distributed everywhere to all. Such 
are they who cannot endure to hear something 
to have been lawful for righteous men in former 
times which is not so now; or that God, for 
certain temporal reasons, commanded them one 
thing, and these another, but both obeying the 
same righteousness; though they see, in one 
man, one day, and one house, different things 
to be fit for different members, and a thing 
which was formerly lawful after a time unlawful 
— that permitted or commanded in one comefi 
which done in another is justly prohibited and 
punished. Is justice, then, various and change- 
able ? Nay, but the times over which she pre- 
sides are not all alike, because they are times.' 
But men, whose days upon the earth are few,' 
because by their own perception they canilot 
harmonize the causes of former ages and other 
nations, of which they had no experience, with 
these of which they have experience, though in 
one and the same body, day, or family, they can 
readily see what is suitable for each member, 
season, part, and person— to the one they take 
exception, to the other they submit. 

14. These things I then knew not, nor ob- 
served. They met my eyes on every side, and 
I saw them not. I comi)osed poems, in which 
it was not permitted me to place every foot 
everywhere, but in one metre one way, and in 
another another, nor even in any one verse the 
same foot in all places. Yet the art itself by 
which I composed had not different principles 
for these different cases, but comprised all in 
one. Still I saw not how that righteousness, 
which good and holy men submitted to, far 
more excellently and sublimely comprehended 
in one all those things which God commanded, 



7 l*he law of the development of revelation implied in the alKrre 
passage is one to which Augustin freouently resorts in confutation 
of objections such as those to which he refers in the previous and 
following sections. It may likewise be effectively used when simUikr 
objections are raised by modern stcepticN. In the Rabbinical books 
there is a tradition uf tne wanderings of the children of Israel, that 
not only did their clothes not wax uld (I>eut. xxix. 5) during than- 
forty years, but that they gre-tv with their growth. The w r ittM l 
woni IS as it were the Kwaddling-(.lothcs of the holy child Jesus ; 
and as the revelation conceminc Him— the Wt)rd Incarnate — grew. 
did the written word grow, (rod spoke in sundry parts [iroAvtfMpMtJ 
and in divers manners unto the fathers by the pronhcts (Heb. i. i); 
but when the " fulness of the time was come " (Gal. iv. 4), He com- 
pleted the revelation in His Son. Our Lord indicates this principle 
when He speaks of divorce in Matt. xix. 8. "Moses," he says, 
" because ot the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away 
your wives; but from the beginning it was not so." (See Com, 
Faust, xix. 26, 29.) When ot)ject:c>ns, then, as to obsolete ritual 
usages, or the sins committed by Old I'estament worthies are urged, 
the an.swer is plain : the ritual has become obsolete, because only 
intended for the infancy of revelation, and the sins, while reconled 
in, arc not approved by Scripture, and those who committed them 
will be judged according to the measure of revelation they received. 
See also De Ver. Rclig. xvii. ; in Fs. Ixxiii. i, liv. 22 ; Lo9i. Fauxi. 
xxii. 25: Trench, Hulscan Lees, iv., v. (1845^; and Caiullish's 
Reason and Revelation, pp. 58-75. 

* Job xiv. I. 



Chap. VIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



65 



and in no part varied, though in varying times 
it did not prescribe ail things at once, but dis- 
tributed and enjoined what was proper for each. 
And If being blind, blamed those pious fathers, 
not only for making use of present things as 
God commanded and inspired them to do, but 
also for foreshowing things to come as God was 
revealing them.^ 

CHAP. VIII. — HE ARGUES AGAINST THE SAME AS 
TO THE REASON OF OFFENCES. 

15. Can it at any time or place be an unright- 
eous thing for a man to love God with all his 
hearty with all his soul, and with all his mind, 
and his neighbour as himself? ' Therefore those 
offences which be contrary to nature are every- 
where and at all times to be held in detestation 
and punished ; such were those of the Sodom- 
iteSy which should all nations commit, they 
should all be held guilty of the same crime by 
the divine law, which hath not so made men that 
they should in that way abuse one another. For 
even that fellowship which should be between 
God and us is violated, when that same nature 
of which He is author is polluted by the per- 
versity of lust. But those offences which are 
contrary to the customs of men arc to be 
avoided according to the customs severally pre- 
vailing; so that an agreement made, and conftrmed 
by custom or law of any city or nation, may not 
be violated at the lawless pleasure of any, whether 
citizen or stranger. For any part which is not 
consistent with its whole is unseemly. But when 
God commands anything contrary to the cus- 
toms or compacts of any nation to be done, 
though it were never done by them before, it is 
to be done ; and if intermitted it is to be re- 
stored, and, if never established, to be estab- 
lished. For if it be lawful for a king, in the 
state over which he reigns, to command that 
which neither he himself nor any one before 
him had commanded, and to obey him cannot 
be held to be inimical to the public interest, — 
nay, it were so if he were not obeyed (for obe- 
dience to princes is a general compact of human 
society), — how much more, then, ought we un- 
hesitatingly to obey God, the Governor of all 
His creatures I For as among the authorities of 
human society the greater authority is obeyed 
before the lesser, so must God above all. 

1 Here, as at the end of sec. 17, he alludes to the typical and alle- 
gorical character (^ Old Testament histories, llioui^h he does not 
with Ori|pen ^o so iar as to disparage the letter of Scripture (see /)t 
Civ. Detf xiii. 31), but upholds it, ne constantly emplf)ys the alle- 

£rical principle. He (alluding to the patriarchs) goes so far, in- 
ed, as to say {Con. Faust, xxii. 24), that " not only the speech 
but the life of these men was prophetic ; and the whole kingdom of 
die Hebrews was like a great prophet :" and again : " We may dis- 
oorer a propbecv of the coming of Christ and of the Church both 
in what they safa and what they did." lliis method of interpreta- 
tion he first learned from Ambrose. See note on " the letter kill- 
eth/' etc. (below, vi. sec. 6), fur the danger attending it. On the 
general subject, reference may also be made to hts in Pt. cxxxvi. 
3; Serm. a; lie Ttmiat. Atr. sec. 7; and De Civ. Dti, xvii. 3. 
* Deut. vi. 5, and Matt. xxU. 37-39. 



16. So also in deeds of violence, where there 
is a desire to harm, whether by contumely or 
injury ; and both of these either, by reason of 
revenge, as one enemy against another ; or to 
obtain some advantage over another, as the high- 
wayman to the traveller ; or for the avoiding of 
some evil, as with him who is in fear of another; 
or through envy, as the unfortunate man to one 
who is happy j or as he that is prosperous in 
anything to him who he fears will become equal 
to himself, or whose equality he grieves at ; or 
for the mere pleasure in another's pains, as the 
spectators' of gladiators, or the deriders and 
mockers of others. These be the chief iniqui- 
ties which spring forth from the lust of the flesh, 
of the eye, and of power, whether singly, or 
two together, or all at once. And so do men 
live in opposition to the three and seven, that 
psaltery ** of ten strings,*" Thy ten command- 
ments, O God most high and most sweet. But 
what foul offences can there be against Thee 
who canst not be defiled ? Or what deeds of 
violence against thee who canst not be harmed ? 
But Thou avengest that which men perpetrate 
against themselves, seeing also that when they 
sin against Thee, they do wickedly against their 
own souls; and iniquity gives itself the lie,* 
either by corrupting or perverting their nature, 
w^hich Thou hast made and ordained, or by an 
immoderate use of things permitted, or in 
" burning'* in things forbidden to that use 
which is against nature;* or when convicted, 
raging with heart and voice against Thee, kicking 
against the pricks ; • or when, breaking through 
the pale of human society, they audaciously re- 
joice in private combinations or divisions, ac- 
cording as they have been pleased or offended. 
And these things are done whenever Thou art 
forsaken, O Fountain of Life, who art the only 
and true Creator and Ruler of the universe, and 
by a self-willed pride any one false thing is se- 
lected therefrom and loved. So, then, by a 
humble piety we return to Thee ; and thou pur- 
gest us from our evil customs, and art merciful 
unto the sins of those who confess unto Thee, 
and dost ** hear the groaning of the prisoner," ' 
and dost loosen us from those fetters which we 
have forged for ourselves, if we lift not up 
against Thee the horns of a false liberty, — 



■ Ps. cxliv. 9. "St, Augustin {Qiutst. in Exod. ii. qu. 71) 
mentions the tu'o modes of dividing the ten commandments into 
three and seven, or four and six, and ^vcs what appear to have 
been his own private rea.soas for preferring the first. cEoth common- 
ly existed in his day, but tlic Anglican mode appears to have 
been the most u.sual. It occurs in Origen, Grej^. Naz., Jerome, Am- 
brose, Chrys. St. Augustin alludes to his division again, Srrm. 8, 
9, tie X. Chordis, and sec. 33 on this psalm : ' To the nrst command- 
ment there belong three strings, because (>od is trine. To the other, 
I. ^., the love of our neighbour, seven strings. These let us join to 
those three, which belong to the love of Ood, if we would on the 
psaltery of ten strings sing a new song.' " — E. B. P. 

* Ps. xxvii. 12, Vuif^. 
» Rom. i. 24-99. 

• Acts ix. 5. 
7 Ps. cii. ao. 



66 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Book ill. 



losing all through craving more, by loving more rided those holy servants and prophets of 

our own private good tlian Thee, the good of Thine. And what did I gain by deriding them 

all. but to be derided by Thee, being insensibly^ 

and little by little, led on to those follies, as to 

CHAP. «.— THAT THE JUDGMENT OK GOD AND ^^^^-^ ^j^at a fig-tree wept when it was plucked, 

MEN, AS TO HCMAN ACi^s OF VIOLENCE, IS DiF- and that the mother-tree shcd milky tears ? Which 

FERENT. I^g notwithstanding, plucked not by his own 

17. But amidst these offences of infamy and but another's wickedness, had some "saint"* 
violence, and so many iniquities, are the sins of eaten and mingled with his entrails, he should 
men who are, on the whole, making progress ; breathe out of it angels ; yea, in liis prayers he 
which, by those who judge rightly, and after the shall assuredly groan and sigh forth particles of 
rule of perfection, are censured, yet commended God, which particles of the most high and true 
withal, upon the hope of bearing fniit, like as God should have remained bound in that figun- 
in the green blade of the growing com. And less they had been set free by the teeth and 
there are some which resemble offences of in- belly of some ** elect saint *M * And I, miser- 
famy or violence, and ye. are not sins, because able one, believed that more mercy was to be 
they neither offend Thee, our Lord God, nor shown to the fruits of the earth than unto men, 
social custom : when, for example, things suit- for whom they were created ; for if a hungry 
able for the times are provided for the use of man — who was not a Manichaean — should beg 
life, and we are uncertain whether it be out of a for any, that morsel which should be given him 
lust of having ; or when acts are punished by would appear, as it were, condemned to capital 
constituted authority for the sake of correction, punishment. * 

and we are uncertain w^hether it be out of a 

lust of hurting. Many a deed, then, which in chap. xi. — he refers to the tears, and the 

the sight of men is disapproved, is approved memorable dream concerning her son, 

by Thy testimony ; and many a one who is granted by god to his mother. 

praised by men is Thou being witness, con- ^^^ ^.^^^ ^^^^^^^^ Thine hand from 

denined; because frequently the view of the above,* and drewest my soul out of that profound 

deed, and the mind of the doer, and he hid- ^^^j^^^^ ^^^„ ^'^^^ .^^^y faithful one, 

den exigency of the period, severally vary. ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^ ^^^^1^ ^^^/ ^1^^^ ^^^^^^ 

But when Thou unexpected y commandest an ^re wont to weep the bodily deaths of their 

unusual and unthought-of thing-yea, even if ^^.^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ I^^^ ^^^^ ^ ^j^^ 

rhou hast formerly forbidden it, and still for ^^.^^ ^^^ j^j^ ^^.^^ ^j^^ ^^^ ^^^^ The^, and 

the time keepest secret the reason of Ihycom- ,p^^^ j^^^^^^^ ^ (^ Lord. Thou heardest 

mand, and it even be contrary to the ordinance , ^^^ despisedst not her tears, when, pouring 

of «)me society of men who doubts but it is to ^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^, ^^^^^ j^^ ^^ 

be done, inasmuch as tha society is righteous .^^ ^^; ^j^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ 

which serves Thee ? But blessed are they who j^^^^^ J ^^^^ P^^ ^j^^^^^^ ^^.^ ^{^^ ^^^^^ 

know Thy commands ! tor all things were ,vith which Thou consoledst her, so that she per- 

done by them who served Ihee either to ex- ^.^^^^ ^^ ^^ jj^^ ^j^j^ ^ ^^^ ^^ 1^^^^*;; 

hibit something necessary at the time, or to ^^^j^ ^^ ^j^^, ^^^^ ^^^1^ ^^ ^j^^ y^ ^y^-^^ ^j^^ 

foreshow things to come. ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^.^^ l^^^j^^ ^^^ detesting the 

chap. X.— he reproves the triflings of the blasphemies of my error? For she saw herself 
MANiCH/EANS AS TO THE FRUITS OF THE Standing on a certain woodcn rulc,* and a bright 
EARTH. youth advancing towards her, joyous and smiling 

18. These things being ignorant of, I de- ~» /. ,. M^^n saint. 

* According to this extraordinary system, it was the privil^pe of 



1 The Manichaeans, hke the deiMical writers of the last century, the " elect " to set free in eating such parts of the divine sub^UMe 

attacked the spoiling of the Egyptians, the slaughter of the Canaan- as were imprisoned in the vegetable creation (Con. Faust, xxzi. 

ites, and such episodes. Rderring to the ' * ' v '-. j- . 1. :_ .u« c.ui- _„j i^j ^^ 

{Con. Faust, xxii. 71), " Then, as for Fa« 

spoiling of the P'.jj^^'ptians, he knows not what he s.iys. . , .. . _ 

Moses not only did not sin. but it would have been sin not to do it. It the realm of light, while, as a reward for their service, the .souls of 
was by the commaml of God, who, from His knowledge both of ' the " hearers " after death transmigrated into plants (f^m which 



: slaughter of the Ganaan- as were imprisoned m tne vcgeiaoie crcauon yt^on. rauMi. xxxi. 

he former, Augustin says s). They did not marry or work in the fields, and led an ascetic 

Kaustus' objection to the I life, the ''hearers" or catechumens being privileged to provide 

what he says. In this ' them with food. The " elect " pa.sscd immediately on dying into 



they might be most readily freed), or into the "elect," so as, in their 
turn, to pass away into the realm of light. See Con. Faust, v. 
10, XX. 23 ; and in Ps. cxl. 
* Augustin frequently alludes to their conduct to the poor, in re- 



thc actions and of the hearts of men, can decide upon what every 
one sh(>uld be made to suffer, and through whose agency. The 
people at that time were still carnal, and engrossed with earthly 

affection; while the Kg>'ptians were in open rebellion against (nxi, _ „ . , 

for they used the gf»ld, (jod's creature, in the service of idi»ls, to fusing to give them bread or the fruits of the earth, lest in eating 
the dishonour ofthe Creator, and they had grievously oppressed stran- they should defile the portion of God contained therein. But to 
eersby making them work without pay. Thus the Egyptians deserved I avoid the odium of their conduct, they would inconsequently give 
the punishment, and the Israelites were suitably employed in inflict- • money whereby food might be bought. See in Ps. cxl. sec. xa ; and 
ing it." For an exhaustive vindication of the conduct of the chil- I De Mor. Munich. 36, 37, and 53. 
drcn of Israel as the agents of G<»d in punishing the Canaanites, sec ' • Ps. cxliv. 7. 

Graves on the Pentateuch, Part iii. lecture x. Sec also De Civ. ■ ^ He alludes here to that devout manner of the F^stem andents, 
Dri, i. 26 ; and Quatst. in Jos. 8, x6, etc. I who used to lie flat on their faces in prayer.— W. W. 

s See note on sec. 14, above. 1 ^ Symbolical of the rule of faith. Sec viii. sec. 30, below. 



Chap. XII.} 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



4ipon her, whilst she was grieving and bowed 
down with sorrow. But he having inquired of 
her the cause of her sorrow and daily weeping 
(he wishing, to teach, aa is their wont, and not 
to be taught), and she answering; that il was 
my perdition she was lamenting, he bade her 
Test contented, and tald her to behold and 
see "that where she was, there was I also." 
And when she looked she saw me standing 
near her on the same rule. Whence was this, 
unless that Thine ears were inclined towards 
her heart? O Thou Good Omnipotent, who 
,so carest for every one of us as if Thou caredst 
for him only, and so for all as if they were 
but one 1 

30. Whence was this, also, that when she had 
narrated this vision to me, and I tried to put 
this construction on it, " That she rather 
.should not despair of being some day what 1 
was," she immediately, without hesitation, re- 
plied, " No; for it was not told me that 'where 
he is, there shalt thou be,' but 'where thou art, 
liiere shall he be'"? 1 confess to Thee, O 
Ix^rd, that, to the best of my remembrance 
(and I have oft spoken of this). Thy answer 
through my watchful mother — ihat she was not 
disquieted by the specioasness of my false inter- 
;>retation, and saw in a moment what was to be 
:^een, and which 1 myself had not in truth per- 
■i.eived before she spake — even then moved me 
more than the dream itself, by which the happi- 
ness to that pious woman, to be realized so long 
after, was, for the alleviation of her present 
anxiety, so long before predicted. For nearly 
nine years passed in whirh 1 wallowed in the 
slime of that deep pit and the darkness of false- 
, hood, striving often to rise, but being all the more 
hfeavily dashed down. But yel that chaste, 
pious, and sober widow (such as Thou lovest), 
now more buoyed up with hope, though no whit 
lesssealotisinherweepingand mourning, desisted 
not, at all the hours of her supplications, to be- 
wail my case unto Thee. And her prayers 
entered into Thy presence, ' and yet Thou didst 
still suffer me to be involved and re-involved in 
that darkness. 



CHAP. XII. — THE EXCELLENT ANSWER OF THE 
BJSHOP WHEN REFERRED TO BY HIS MOTHER 
AS TO THE t-UNVER-SlON OP HER SON. 

ii. And meanwhile Thou graniedst her an- 
other answer, which I recall ; for much I pass 
over, hastening on to those things which the 
more strongly impel me to confess unto Thee, 
and much I do not remember. Thou didst 
grant her then another answer, by a priest of 
Thine, a certain bishop, reared in Thy Church 
and well versed in Thy books. He, when this 
woman had entreated that he would vouchsafe 
to have some talk with me, refute my errors, 
unteach me evil things, and teach me good (for 
this he was in the habit of doing when he 
found people fitted to receive it), refused, 
very prudently, as I afterwards came to see. 
For he answered that I was stiil unieachable, 
being inflated with the novelty of that heresy, 
and that 1 had already perplexed divers inex- 
perienced persons with vexatious questions,' as 
she had informed him. " But leave him alone 
for a time," saith he, "only pray God for him ; 
he will of himself, by reading, discover what that 
error is, and how great its impiety." He dis- 
closed to her at the same time how he himself, 
when a little one, had, by his misguided mother, 
been given over to the Manichseans, and had not 
only read, but even written out almost all their 
books, and had come to see (without argument 
or proof from any one) how much that seel was 
to be shunned, and had shunned it. Which 
when he had said, and she would not be satisfied, 
but repeated more earnestly her entreaties, shed- 
ding copious tears, that he would see and dis- 
course with me, he. a little vexed at her impor- 
tunity, exclaimed, "Go thy way, and God bless 
thee, for it is not possible that the son of these 
tears should perish." Which ansTver (as she 
often mentioned in her conversations with me) 
she accepted as though it were a voice from 



phyte. iie lined iimc dlfficuUla ot Scriplun {/Jf A^om. Ckri* 



BOOK IV. 

THEN FOLLOWS A PERIOD OF NINE YEARS FROM THE NINETEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE, DURING WHICH 
HAVING LOST A FRIEND, HE FOLLOWED THE MANICHiGANS — AND WROTE BOOKS ON THE FAIR 
And fit, and published a work on the liberal arts, and the categories OF ARISTOTLE. 



CHAP. I. — concerning THAT MOST UNHAPPY 
TIME IN WHICH HE, BEING DECEIVED, DE- 
CEIVED others; AND CONCERNING THE 
MOCKERS OF HIS CONFESSION. 

I. During this space of nine years, then, 
from my nineteenth to my eight and twen- 
tieth year, we went on seduced and seducing, 
deceived and deceiving, in divers lusts ; pub- 
licly, by sciences which they style "liberal** 
— secretly, with a falsity called religion. Here 
proud, there superstitious, everywhere vain ! 
Here, striving after the emptiness of popular 
fame, even to theatrical applauses, and poetic 
contests, and strifes for grassy garlands, and the 
follies of shows and the intemperance of desire. 
There, seeking to be purged from these our 
corruptions by carrying food to those who were 
called "elect** and "holy,** out of which, in 
the laboratory of their stomachs, they should 
make for us angels and gods, by whom we 
might be delivered.* These things did I fol- 
low eagerly, and practise with my friends — by 
me and with me deceived. Let the arrogant, 
and such as have not been yet savingly cast 
down and stricken by Thee, O my God, laugh 
at me ; but notwithstanding I would confess to 
Thee mine own shame in Thy praise. Bear with 
me, I beseech Thee, and give me grace to re- 
trace in my present remembrance the circlings 
of my past errors, and to "offer to Thee the 
sacrifice of thanksgiving.'** For what am I to 
myself without Thee, but a guide to mine own 
downfall ? Or what am I even at the best, but 
one sucking Thy milk,' and feeding upon Thee, 
the meat that perisheth not?* But what kind 
of man is any man, seeing that he is but a 



» Augustin tells us that he went not beyond the rank of a 
" hearer," because he found the Manichxan teachers readier in 
refuting others than in establishing their own views, and seems only 
to have looked for some esoteric doctrine to have been disclosed to 
him under their materialistic teaching as to God — viz. that He was 
an unmeasured Light that extended all ways but one, infinitely 
{Serm. iv. sec. 5.)— rather than to have really accepted it. — De 
LHil. Cred. Proef. See also iii. sec. 18, notes z and a, above. 

* Ps. cxvi. 17. 
» I Pet. ii. a. 

♦ John vi. 27. 

68 



man? Let, then, the strong and the mighty 
laugh at us, but let us who are " poor and 
needy ** * confess unto Thee. 

CHAP. II. — HE TEACHES RHETORIC, THE ONLY 
THING HE LOVED, AND SCORNS THE SOOTH- 
SAYER, WHO PROMISED HIM VICTORY. 

2. In those years I taught the art of rhetoric, 
and, overcome by cupidity, put to sale a loqua- 
city by which to overcome. Yet I preferred — 
Lord, Thou knowest — to have honest scholars 
(as they are esteemed); and these I, without 
artifice, taught artifices, not to be put in prac- 
tise against the life of the guiltless, though 
sometimes for the life of the guilty. And Thou, 
O God, from afar sawest me stumbling in that 
slippery path, and amid much smoke* sending 
out some flashes of fidelity, which I exhibited in 
that my guidance of such as loved vanity and 
sought after leasing,^ I being their companion. 
In those years I had one (whom I knew not in 
what is called lawful wedlock, but whom my * 
wayward passion, void of understanding, had 
discovered), yet one only, remaining foithfiil 
even to her ; in whom I found out truly by my 
own experience what difference there is between 
the restraints of the marriage bonds, contracted 
for the sake of issue, and the compact of a lust- 
ful love, where children are bom against the 
parents' will, although, being born, they com- 
pel love. 

3. I remember, too, that when I decid^ to 
compete for a theatrical prize, a soothsayer 
demanded of me what I would give him to win ; 
but I, detesting and abominating such foul mys- 
teries, answered, " That if the garland were of 
imperishable gold, I would not suffer a fly to be 
destroyed to secure it for me.'* For he was to 
slay certain living creatures in hjs sacrifices, and 
by those honours to invite the devils to give me 
their support. But this ill thing I also refused. 



• Ps. Ixxiv. 21, 

* Isa. xlii. 3, and Matt. xii. ao. 
» Ps. iv. a. 



Chaf. III.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, 



«9 



not out of a pure Iove> for Thee, O God of my 
heart ; for I knew not how tu luve Thee, know- 
ing not how to conceive augln beyond corpo- 
real brightness.' And doth not a soul, sighing 
after such-like fictions, commit fornication 
against Thee, trust in false things,' and nourish 
the wind?' But I would not, forsooth, have 
sacrifices offered to devils on my behalf, though 
I myself was offering sacrifices to them by that 
superstition. For what else is nourishing the 
wind but nourishing them, that is, by our wan- 
derings to become their enjoyment and deri- 
sion? 

CHAP. HI. NOT EVES THE MOST EXPERIENCED 

MEN COULD PERSUADE HIM OK THE VANITV OF 
ASTROLOGY, TO WHiCH HE WAS DEVOTED. 

4. Those impostors, then, whom they desig- 
nate Mathematicians, I consulted without hesi- 
tation, because they used no sacrifices, and 
invoked the aid of no spirit fortheirdivinattons, 
which art Christian and true piety filly rejects 
and condemns.* For good it is toconfess unto 



h u baad " (Auf. Srr 

Rwnnl bin God, ud 

u iccein Don than Him fr 
IhaiT hmih Ood no tcvuyIT 
Cod b Cod HIioK 




Lord (Pl III, g\ it (hu whcr 
■be lovHh ha Hmband, ifae i 

but & RiBHDMli for evtr and ever" iAue iW /k.~). ~ • 

name gf pun fiar ia lifniAed thai will whereby we mii^t n«da bf 

laArBtty but IbRHisb iba EranquiJlity ofafie^tion " tOt Ctsr Dri 
DY. aec 65).~E. B. P. 



ftn-aad lore 

wtutih ia iho cj>d vt thi 




Thet, and to say, " Be merciful unto me, heal 
my soul, for I have sinned against Thee ;" ' and 
not lo abuse Thy goodness for a license to sin, 
but to remember the words of the Lord, " Be- 
hold, thou art made whole ; sin no more, lest a 
worse thing come unto thee."' All of which 
salutary advice they endeavour to destroy when 
they say, "The cause of thy sin is inevitably 
determined in heaven ;" and, "This did Venus, 
or Saturn, or Mar;;" in order that man, for- 
sooth, flesh and blood, and proud corruption, 
may be blameless, while the Creator and Or- 
dainer of heaven and stars is to bear the blame. 
And who is this but Thee, our God, the sweet- 
ness and well-spring of righteousness, who ren- 
derest ' ' to every man according to his deeds,' ' ' 
and despisest not "a broken and a contrite 
heart! "' 

5. There was in those days a wise man, very 
skilful in medicine, and much renowned therein, 
who had with his own proconsular hand put the 
Agonistic garland upon my distempered head, 
not, though, as a physician ;" for this disease 
Thou alone healest, whoresistest the proud, and 
givest grace to the humble." Bui didst Thou 
fail me even by that old man, or forbear from 
healing my soul? For when I had become 
more familiar with him, and hung as.^)duously 
and fixedly on his conversation (for though 
couched in simple language, it was replete with 
vivacity, life, and earnestness), when he had 
perceived from my discourse tliat 1 was given to 
books of the horoscope -casters, he, in a kind 
and fatherly manner, advised me to throw them 
away, and not vainly bestow the care and labour 
necessary for usefiil things upon these vanities ; 
.saying that he himself in his earlier years had 
studied that art with a view to gaining his living 



the »ury lold >^ Zonaras. in hit AimiUt. of the routniverKy between 
the Kabbb and Sylvoler, fi»hop of Rome, befon CoMtanllne, 
""■e Je»i were wonted in anumeist, and evidenlly Ihouiht an 
peal to miraclea ini|[hl, from ibe Empcrot'i edueatlon, bring Una 
An oit ia brDught ibnh. The Jewish woDder- 



l AiuuiEiA clana the Totariet of botb wiiarda and attroloeen 
(Dt Dfttr. Ckriit.a,^j: and /V Cm. /Vi, x.a; <»mpaR alw 
luatJiiUanyr,^^, ii.c. jj as alike "deluded and imp^^edon by the i 

Hlbgei. Jon bv tbc Uvof God'aorovidence:" and h>uv>. "All in> ! 
of Ihliaoit 



.,. .olhdrHde 

Vtrker whiapen a myslic i . ^-, 

ylveftter, oectirdiiw la the atory. la quite eijua] b 
iHtorcn the aDbnal to life anin by uttering ib 



m by tbc Uv of God'a provident 

. .f ■ buicbl ielfimihi^£iwe^i 

are to be uturly repudiated and avoided by i 

ihe Jiiai i q idrlin them fTum tht 
have snbedded tbvn deeply in Ihcii 
byMoaei ((./-.bi Mtml kiUfit -A 

doB wbelbw the bAieDce of Ibe lUt 
imd \m SmnJitdrim it magic ia 
■ M haTcLeen 



le tayi, "All 
n and dcv^, and 



dead; but 

1^........-..-^ ^..— ^-~-^. -.., ^ — ^aaion^aod 

\t aDbnal to life anin 1^ uttering the name of ihe Re- 
--^.-—r tlmay hare been thai the ettuuion of mlrackfi may har« 
gradually ledumubkprolenionDf Chriuianiiyto birent niraclu: 
....I ... gi^op K.aye obaeivu ^TtrluUiam.f.g^), ■■ the luecesi of 



hedriB). It might hi 
&OH that nac£>a ag 



SiaMalA i}6, prosperity 
SJhM-U 6i it it a quu- 

expeded that tbe Christians, if onl^ 

^. ___JU rf lhrieiter''of the Old Testament Scriptum (see 

DtPnmti*. W. t%. iQ, wouhl have (bnink Frooi such strange aru. 
But itH influi of pagan, who had practised thcin,inln the Christian 

Tbh >• not only tnie of the Vakntinia™ (sm KaT"''' LVrwrSm' 
Alt*. Ti.) and other herelica but the inHuence of ihete titans a 
■•ea coca in tlw wildngi of the " onbedojt." Thoae who can nad 



n the endutity of m 
miracles, cnnparisor 



linked others 



de of the 
>i, andoT 



1 John V. 1*. 

> Rom. ii. 6. and Matt, ivi, it, 

• Pj. 11. 17. 

10 This physician was Vindidanra. the " acute old m 
oticd In vil. sec. S, below, and again in Jif. 13B, as ' 

H he reached by bis remediei. We are irresistihly remir 
onlt ofour great poet: — 

■Plucli from the memory a rooted sorrn* ; 
Cleanse the sluff'd bo»in of that perilous alufl' 



70 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book IV. 



by following it as a profession, and that, as he 
had understocxi Hippocrates, he would soon 
have understood this, and yet he had given it 
up, and followed medicine, for no other reason 
than that he discovered it to be utterly false, 
and he, being a man of character, would not 
gain his hving by beguiling people. *'But 
thou,*' saith he, ** who hast rhetoric to support 
thyself by, so that thou followest this of free 
will, not of necessity — all the more, then, 
oughtest thou to give me credit herein, who 
laboured to attain it so perfectly, as I wished to 
gain my living by it alone.'* When I asked 
him to account for so many true things being 
foretold by it, he answered me (as he could) 
*' that the force of chance, diffused throughout 
the whole order of nature, brought this about. 
For if when a man by accident opens the leaves 
of some poet, who sang and intended something 
far different, a verse oftentimes fell out won- 
drously apposite to the present business, it were 
not to be wondered at,** he continued, *' if out 
of the soul of man, by some higher instinct, not 
knowing what goes on within itself, an answer 
should be given by chance, not art, which 
should coincide with the business and actions of 
the questioner.*' 

6. And thus truly, either by or through him, 
Thou didst look after me. And Thou didst 
delineate in my memory what I might after- 
wards search out for myself. But at that time 
neither he, nor my most dear Nebridius, a youth 
most good and most circumspect, who scoffed 
at that whole stock of divination, could per- 
suade me to forsake it, the authority of the 
authors influencing me still more ; and as yet I 
had lighted upon no certain proof — such as I 
sought — ^whereby it might without doubt appear 
that what had been truly foretold by those con- 
sulted was by accident or chance, not by the 
art of the star-gazers. 

CHAP. IV. SORELY DISTRESSED BY WEEPING AT 

THE DEATH OF HIS FRIEND, HE PROVIDES CON* 
SOLATION FOR HIMSELF. 

7. In those years, when I first began to teach 
rhetoric in my native town, I had acquired a 
very dear friend, from association in our studies, 
of mine own age, and, like myself, just rising 
up into the flower of youth. He had grown up 
with me from childhood, and we had been both 
school-fellows and play-fellows. But he was 
not then my friend, nor, indeed, afterwards, as 
true friendship is; for true it is not but in such as 
Thou bindest together, cleaving unto Thee by 
that love >vhich is shed abroad in our hearts by 
the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.^ But 
yet it was too sweet, being ripened by the 

> Rom. V. 5, 



fervour of similar studies. For, from the true 
faith (which he, as a youth, had not soundly and 
thoroughly become master of), I had turned 
him aside towards those superstitious and per- 
nicious fables which my mother mourned in me. 
With me this man's mind now erred, nor could 
my soul exist without him. But behold, Thou 
wert close behind Thy fiigitives — at once God 
of vengeance* and Fountain of mercies, who 
tumest us to Thyself by wondrous means. 
I'hou removedst that man from this life when 
he had scarce completed one whole year of my 
friendship, sweet to me above all the sweetness 
of that my life. 

8. **Who can show forth all Thy praise"' 
which he hath experienced in himself alone? 
What was it that Thou didst then, O my God, 
and how unsearchable are the depths of Thy 
judgments!* For when, sore sick of a fever, 
he long lay unconscious in a death-sweat, and 
all despaired of his recovery, he was baptized 
without his knowledge/ myself meanwhile 
little caring, presuming that his soul would. 
retain rather what it had imbibed from me, than 
what was done to his unconscious body. Far 
different, however, was it, for he was revived 
and restored. Straightway, as soon as I could 
talk to him (which I could as soon as he was 
able, for I never left him, and we hung too 
much upon each other), I attempted to jest with 
him, as if he also would jest with me at that bap- 
tism which he had received when mind and senses 
were in abeyance, but had now learnt that he 
had received. But he shuddered at me, as if I 
were his enemy ; and, with a remarkable and 
unexpected freedom, admoni.shed me, if I de- 
sired to continue his friend, to desist from 
speaking to him in such a way. I, confounded 
and confused, concealed all my emotions, till 
he should get well, and his health be strong 
enough to allow me to deal with him as I 
wished. But he was withdrawn from my frenzy, 
that with Thee he might be preserved for my 
comfort. A few days after, during my absence, 
he had a return of the fever, and died. 

9. At this sorrow my heart was utterly dark- 
ened, and whatever I looked upon was death. 
My native country was a torture to me, and my 
father's house a wondrous unhappiness; and 
whatsoever I had participated in with him, 
wanting him, turned into a frightful torture. 
Mine eyes sought him everywhere, but he was 
not granted them; and I hated all places 
because he was not in them; nor could they 
now say to me, ** Behold, he is coming," as 
they did when he was alive and absent. I 



• Ps. xciv, I. 

• Ps. cvi. 2. 

< Ps. xxxvi. 6, and Rom. xi. 33. 

• Sec i. sec. 17, note 3, above. 



Chap. VII.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 71 



became a great puzzle to myself, and asked my For this is not the time to question, but rather 

soul why she was so sad, and why she so exceed- to confess unto Thee. Miserable I was, and 

ingly disquieted me ; ^ but she knew not what miserable is every soul fettered by the friendship 

to answer me. And if I said, ** Hope thou in of perishable things — he is torn to pieces when 

God,"' she very proj)erly obeyed me not; he loses them, and then is sensible of the misery 

because that most dear friend whom she had which he had before ever he lost them. Thus 

lost was, being man, both truer and better than was it at that time with me ; I wept most bitter- 

that phantasm' she was bid to hope in. Naught ly, and found rest in bitterness. Thus was I 

but tears were sweet to me, and they succeeded miserable, and that life of misery I accounted 

my friend in the dearest of my affections. dearer than my friend. For though I would 

9 willingly have changed it, yet I was even more 

CHAP. V. — ^WHY WEEPING IS PLEASANT TO THE unwilling to losc it than him ; yea, I knew not 

WRETCHED. whether I was willing to lose it even for him, as 

10. And now, O Lord, these things are '^ ^^'^^^ ""o^" t° »•* ([^ "«»^^ invention) of 
passed away, and time hath healed my wound, ^y'^^^f ^""^ 0;^^'«-"«' [^^^ ^^^V r°"'*^ &^^y 
May I learn from Thee, who art Tmth, and ^'''f^ ^'<='^ """^J"' ^T^^'' °^ ^^^ together, it 
apply the ear of my heart unto Thy mouth, *^'"g, ^^^^ '^'f *^f *]" *'' ^^^"^ "*" ^° ^'""^ 
that Thou mayest tell me why weeping should W^^J- ?"' ^^^'^ ^^ 'P™"g "P..'" ™^ ^™f 
be so sweet to the unhappy.* H^t Thou— '""'^ °^ ^f ^'"g' '°°' ''°''^'^P '° "''^' [?■" ^oth 
although present everywhere-cast away far exceedingly wearisome was it to me to live and 
from Thee our misery? And Thou abidest in ^f^^^^"' *" ^'\ ^ '"PP^' i 'l.^ more I loved 
Thyself, but we are disquieted with divers trials; ''""' "^ ™"*^*^ '^« more did I hate and fear as 
and yet, unless we w^pt in Thine ears, there a most cmel enemy, that death which had robbed 
would be no hope for us remaining. Whence, ™^ ?l,^''^ : ,^"*1 ^ imagined it would suddenly 
then, is it that such sweet fruit is plucked from ?nn»hilate all men. as it had power over him 
the bitterness of life, from groansf tears, sigh.s, ^^""f' ^ remember, it was with me. Behold 
and lamentations? Is it the hope that Thou ""V ^f'^'^' ^ ""y^od ! Behold and look into 
hearest us that sweetens it? This is true of T' ^°' ^ "-emember it we 1, O my Hope ! who 
prayer, for therein is a. desire to approach unto cleansest me from the uncleanness of si.ch affec- 
Th^. But is it also in grief for a thing lost, '',*>"^. d'^cting mine eyes towards Thee and 
and the sorrow with which I was then over- pl"cking my feet out of the net.» For I w-as 

^_ astonished that other mortals lived, since he 

as if he would never die, was 
wondered still more that 1, who 

mis^kWe,\nd'h^dTosrmy joy"; ^ Or 'is weeping ^^^ ^? ^^"^ fx.'^'''!?-^ ^^^' '^''"^'^ i'l^ "^r^"" ^^ 
a bitter thing, and for distaste of the thin^ ^^'^u'^^^u'i. / "^ T-^e say of his friend, 
which aforetime we enjoyed before, and even '* Thou half of my soul, « for I felt that my 

then, when we are loathing them, does it cause ?^"j. ^"? ^'^^ ^"^ ^'^^^ ^V^ ^"^ ^"* '^ ^^^ 
us pleasure? bodies;^ and, consequently, my life was a 

horror to me, because 1 would not live in half. 
CHAP. VI.— HIS FRIEND BEING SNATCHED AWAY ^ud therefore, pcrchancc, was I afraid to die, 

BY DEATH, HE IMAGINES THAT HE REMAINS ^^st he should die wholly^ whom I had so 

ONLY AS HALF. greatly loved. 

11. But why do I speak of these things? chap. vii. — troubled by restlessness and 



ana inc sorrow wicn wnicn i was men over- * - u a u 

whehned ? . For I had neither hope of his com- astonished that ot 

ing to life again, nor did I seek this with my ''''^^J" ^ i?\^^' ^] 

tears ; but I grieved and wept only, for I was ^^^^ ' ^"^ ^ "^^^^ 



» P*. xlH. 5. GRIEF, HE LEAVES HIS COUNTRY A SECOND 

• ^' I J . u . J 1- . V . ,. TIME FOR CARTHAGE. 

• The mind may rest m theories and abstractions, but the heart 

crave* a being that it can love ; and Archbishop Whaiely hxs shown j^ O mnHnp<i<; whirh tnnwp<;t nnf hnw fn 

in one of his essays that the idol worship of cvcr>- age had doubtless ^^- ^ "»aaneSS, Wnicn KnOWCSC noi nOW CO 

its origin in the craving of mind and heart for an embodiment of the loVC men aS men should bc loved ! O foolish man 

objea of worship. "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us," says «.u„<. t ♦U^^ ,.,«^ ««^.,^;««. «,;«.U ^^ «^..^U :«,^« 

PhiUpHohn xiv. 8). and he expresses ihclongine of the soul: and that 1 then WaS, Cnduring With SO mUCh impa- 



?**S* " J^"^ '"T'*'' "r^5. '*""*'• '^^'^- ^^^'r u "^ ^^^^^ '^'''> ^t*" tience the lot of man ! So I fretted, sighed, 

wept, tormented myself, and took neither rest 
nor advice. For I bore about with me a rent 



Father/' He reveals to us God's satisfaction of human wants in the , i r j i • i 

incamadon of His Son. Augustin's heart was now thrown in upon 1 wept, tormented myself, and tOOK neither rCSt 



itself, and his view of God gave him no consolation. It satisfied his 
mind, perhaps, in a measure, to think of (.lod as a " corporeal 



brightness" (see iii. 12; iv. 3, 12. 31; v. lo.ctc.) when free from and nolluted soul, impatient of being bomc by 

trouble, but it could not satisfy him now. He had yet to learn of ji_ *. -^ t c j^ xt^. 

Him who is the very image of God-who by His divine power railed me, and Whcre tO repOSe it 1 tOUnO not. Not 



the dead to life again, while, with perfect human sympathy, He 
could "weep with those that wept,"— the " Son of Man " (not of a * Ps. xxv. 15 
man. He being miraculously bom. but of the race of men [ai^^poiirov]), • Horace, Carm. i. ode j 
/. ^. the Son of Mankind. See also viii, sec. 27, note, below. -.^^ j -w^ - . • 1 

* For so it has ever been found to be : — 

" Est quaedam Acre voluptas ; 
Expletur lacrymis egeriturque dolor." 

—Ovid, Tritt. iv. 3, 38 



^ CK'id, Trist. iv. elcg. iv. 72. 

Augustin's reference to this passage in his Retractations is quoted 
at the Deginning of the book. He might have gone further than to 
describe his words here as declamatio ievis^ since the conclusion is 
not logical. ^ 



72 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book IV. 



in pleasant groves, not in sport or song, not in 
firagrant spots, nor in magnificent banquetings, 
nor in the pleasures of the bed and the couch, 
nor, finally, in books and songs did it find re- 
pose. All things looked terrible, even the very 
light itself; and whatsoever was not what he was, 
was repulsive and hateful, except groans and 
tears, for in those alone found 1 a little repose. 
But when my soul was withdrawn from them, 
a heavy burden of misery weighed me down. 
To Thee, O Lord, should it have been raised, 
for Thee to lighten and avert it.^ This I knew, 
but was neither willing nor able ; all the more 
since, in my thoughts of Thee, Thou wert not 
any solid or substantial thing to me. For Thou 
wert not Thyself, but an empty phantasm,' 
and ray error was my god. If I attempted to 
discharge my burden thereon, that it might find 
rest, it sank into emptiness, and came rushing 
down again upon me, and I remained to myself 
an unhappy spot, where I could neither stay nor 
depart from. For whither could my heart fly 
from my heart ? Whither could I fly from mine 
own self? Whither not follow myself? And 
yet fled I from ray country ; for so should my 
eyes look less for him where they were not ac- 
customed to see him. And thus I left the town 
of Thagaste, and came to Carthage. 

CHAP. VIII. — ^THAT HIS GRIEF CEASED BY TIME, 
AND THE CONSOLATION OF FRIENDS. 

13. Times lose no time, nor do they idly roll 
through our senses. They work strange opera- 
tions on the mind.' Behold, they came and 
went froni day to day, and by coming and go- 
ing they disseminated in my mind other ideas 
and other remembrances, and by little and little 
patched me up again with the former kind of 
delights, unto which that sorrow of mine 
yielded. But yet there succeeded, not certainly 
other sorrows, yet the causes of other sorrows.* 
For whence had that former sorrow so easily 
penetrated to the quick, but that I had poured 
out my soul upon the dast, in loving one 
who must die as if he were never to die ? 
But what revived and refreshed me especially 
was the consolations of other friends,* with 

1 ** The Kfcat and merciful Architect of His Church, whom not 
only the pnilosophcrs have styled, but the Scripture itself calls 
rtj^virrii (ah artiitt or artificer), employs not on us the hammer and 
chisel with an intent to wound or raunglc us, but only to square and 
fashion our hard and stubborn hearts into such lively stones as 
may both grace and strengthen His heavenly structure. ' — Ik>YLE. 

• Sec iii. 9 ; iv. 3^ xa, 31 ; v. 19. 

s As Seneca has it : " Quod ratio non quit, axpe sanabit mora " 
{Afam. 130). 
♦See iv. cc. i, 10, la, and vi. c. 16. 

• " Friendship," says Lord Bacon, in his essay thereon, — the sen- 
timent being perhaps suggested by Cicero's " Secundas res 
splendidi<jrv>t facit amicitia et adversas partiens communicansque 
leviores" (/V Atnicit. 6), — " redoublcth ioys, and cutteth griefs in 
halves." Augiistin appear: to h.ive been eminently open to 
influences of this kind. In his De Duab. Anim, con. Atanich. (c. 
ix.) he tells us that friendship was one of the bonds that kept him 
in the ranks of the Manichseans ; and here we find that, aiaed by 
time and weeping, it restored him in his great grie£ See also v. 
•ec. 19, and vi. sec a6, below. 



whom I did love what instead of Thee I loved. 
And this was a monstrous fable and protracted 
lie, by whose adulterous contact our soul, 
which lay itching in our ears, was being pol- 
luted. But that fable would not die to me so 
oft as any of my friends died. There were 
other things in them which did more lay hold 
of my mind, — to discourse and jest with them ; 
to indulge in an interchange of kindnesses; to 
read together pleasant books ; together to trifle, 
and together to be earnest ; to differ at times 
without ill-humour, as a man would do with his 
own self; and even by the infrequency of these 
differences to give zest to our more frequent 
consentings; sometimes teaching, sometimes 
being taught ; longing for the al^nt with im- 
patience, and welcoming the coming with joy. 
These and similar expressions, emanating from 
the hearts of those who loved and were beloved 
in return, by the countenance, the tongue, the 
eyes, and a thousand pleasing movements, were 
so much fuel to melt our souls together, and out 
of many to make but one. 

CHAP. IX. — THAT THE LOVE OF A HUMAN BE- 
ING, HOWEVER CONSTANT IN LOVING AND 
RETURNINC; LOVE, PERISHES; WHILE HE WHO 
LOVES GOD NEVER LOSES A FRIEND. 

14. This is it that is loved in friends; and so 
loved that a man's conscience accuses itself if 
he love not him by whom he is beloved, or love 
not again him that loves him, expecting nothing 
from him but indications of his love. Hence 
that mourning if one die, and gloom of sorrow, 
that steeping of the heart in tears, all sweet- 
ness turned into bitterness, and upon the loss 
of the life of the dying, the death of the living. 
Blessed be he who loveth Thee, and his friend 
in Thee, and his enemy for Thy sake. For he 
alone loses none dear to him to whom all are 
dear in Him who cannot be lost. And who is 
this but our God, the God that created heaven 
and earth,* and filleth them,' because by filling 
them He created them ? ^ None loseth Thee but 
he who leaveth Thee. And he who leaveth 
Thee, whither goeth he, or whither fleeth he, 
but from Thee well pleased to Thee angry ? 
For where doth not he find Thy law in his own 
punishment? *'And Thy law is the truth," • 
and truth Thou.*® 

CHAP. X. — THAT ALL THINGS EXIST THAT THEY 
MAY PERISH, AND THAT WE ARE NOT SAFE 
UNLESS (;OD \yATCHES OVER US. 

15. ** Turn us again, O Lord God of Hosts, 



• Gen, i. i. 

7 Jer. xxiii. 24. 

• See i. 2, 3, aoove. 

• Ps. cxix. 142, and John xvU. 17. 
U John xiv. 6. 



Chap. XII.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 73 



cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved."' chap. xi. — ^that portions of the world are 

For whithersoever the soul of man turns itself, not to be loved ; but that god, their 

unless towards Thee, it is affixed to sorrows,' author, is immittable, and his word eter- 

yea, though it is affixed to beauteous things nal. 

Without Thee and without itself. And yet they ^g ^ „^j ^^,,(3^ O so„, ^^ je^den 

were not unl«s they were from Thee. They nse ^^^ ^^^^ ^ of t^i^e ,jeart with the tumult of 

and set ; and by nsmg, they begm as it were ^^ f^,. Hearken thou also. The word itself 

to be; and they grow, tlut they may become invokes thee to return; and there is the place 

perfect ; and when perfect, they wax old ^f ^^^ imperturbable, where love is not aban- 

and pensh ; and dl wax not old, but all pensh. ^^^^^ -f ^^^f abandoneth not. Behold, these 

Therefore when they rise and tend to be^ the ^^■ away, that others may succeed them, 

more rapidly they grow that they may be, so ^^d so this lower universe be made complete in 

much the more they hasten not to be This is ^,j -^^ ^^^ do I depart anywhere, saith 

the way of them.' Thus much hast Thou given the word of God ? There fix thy habitation, 

them, because they are parts of things, which ^here commit whatsoever thou hast thence, O 

exist not all at the same time, but by departing ^^^ ^t ^„ ^^^^^^ ^^^ thou art tired out 

and succeeding they together niake up the ^ftj, deceits. Commit to truth whatsoever thou 

universe, of which they are parts. And even ^^^ f^^^ ^^^ truth, and nothing shalt thou lose ; 

thus is our speech accomplished by signs emit- ^^^j ^, ^ ^^all flourish again, and all thy 

ting a sound; but this, again is not perfected ^-^^ ^^ healed* and thy perishable parts 

unless one word p^ away when it has sounded ^^j, ^e re-formed and renovated, and drawn 

Its part, m order that another may succeed it. together to thee ; nor shall they put thee down 

Let my soul praise Thee out of a 1 these things ^^^^^ themselves descend, but they shall abide 

O Gwi, the Creator of all ; but let not my soul ^jj^ ^^ee, and continue for ever before God, 

be affixed to these things by the glue of love, ^^^^ ^^ideth and continueth for ever.' 

through the senses of the body, tor they go ^^y, then, be perverse and follow thy 

whither they were to go, that they might no ^^^p j^t^er let it be converted and follow 

longer be ; and they rend her with pestilent de- tj,ee. Whatever by her thou feelest, is but in 

sires, be<^ she longs to be, and yet loves to ^ . ^^d the whole, of which these are por- 

rest m what she loves. But m these things no ^^ j^ou art ignorant of, and yet they delight 

place is to be found ; they stay not— they flee ; ^1,^^ g^^ had the sense of thy flesh been capa- 

and who IS he that is able to follow them with the ^e of comprehending the whole, and not itself 

senses of the flesh? Or who can grasp them, even ^^ ^^^ ^^ punishment, been justly limited to 

when they are near ? For tardy is the sense of the ^ tj^n ^f the whole, thou wouldest that what- 

flesh, because it is the sense of the flesh, and ^^^j. existeth at the present time should pass 

its boundary is Itself It sufficeth for that for away, that so the whole might please thee more.* 

which It was made, but it is not sufficient to p^^ ^^at we speak, also by the same sense of 

stay things running their course from their ap- the flesh thou hearest ; and yet wouldest not 

pomted starting-place to the end appointed, thou that the syllables should stay, but flyaway. 

For in Thy word, by which they were created, that others may come, and the whole' be heard, 

they hear the fiat, " Hence and hitherto. -j-hus it is always, when any single thing is 

: composed of many, all of which exist not to- 

> p». ixxx. 19. gether, all together would delight more than 

J^J'i„.^Un"^:t^/c;io'l.-^!h""h. .bov. p^sagc «, no« t^cy do simply could all be perceived at once. 

what Ausustin says ekcwhere as to the ari^n of the law of death in But far better than theSC IS Hc whO made all ; 

the sin <|I our first parents. In his De Cen. ad Lit. (vi. 25) he j tt • r^ a ^^j tlt^ ^^ «.«*.U ^^^ »»>».* 

speaks thus of their ^ndition in the garden, and the provision and Hc IS OUF God, and HC pasSCth nOt away, 

made for the maintenance of their life : " Aliud est non ^sjemori, for there is nothing tO SUCCCed Him. If bodicS 

sicut quasdam naturas tmmortales creavit Dcus ; almd est autem , , '^ . ^ . , u l 

/«f«r mm mori. secundum quern modum primus creatus est homo pleaSC thee, praise (jOd lOr them, and tum DaCK 

tmmortalis." Adam, he goes on to say, warn ad/e to avert death, ,.l, 1^^^ nnnn thpir Prpatnr \e<t in those thincs 

by partaking of the tree of life. Hc enlarges on this doctrine in ^"Y ^^^e Upon ineir ^^reacor, ICSl m inObC inillgb 

Book xiii. De Civ. Dei. He .savs (sec. 20) : ** Our first parents which plcaSC thee thoU displcaSe. 
decayed not with years, nor cfrew nearer to death — a condition 
secured to them in God's marvellous grace by the tree of life, which 

fgrrw along with the forbidden tree in the midst of Paradise." (;hAP. XII. LOVE IS NOT CONDEMNED, BUT LOVE 

Again (ftec. 19) he says : " Why do the philosophers nnd that ' 

abwrd which Uic Christian faith preaches, namely, that our first IN GOD, IN WHOM THERE IS REST THROUGH 

parento were so created, that, if they had not sinned, they would ipcttc /^uutct tc Tr\ xiv oDrririJiJirr* 

not have been dismissed from their bodies by any death, but would Jt^Ub C^KISl , lb lU Bl. I'Kfcl' l!.KKi:.U. 

have been endowed with immortality as the reward of their obedi- n -r r 1 1 ^i_ i.....^i- i_i j* 

ence, and would have lived eternally with their bodies?" That this 1 8. if SOUlS please theC, let them DC lOVed m 

Bwi^'BS^rhif i!5,^''k*i'"^^'r'"/J"^^^^ God ; fo r they also are mutable, but in Him 

philus of Antioch was of opinion {Ad Autolyc. c, 24) that Adam ' ' ' 

might have gone on from strength to strength, until at last he ^ Ps. ciii. 3. 

" wonki have been taken up into heaven." See also on this subject ^ i Pet. i. 23. 

Deaa Buckland's Sermon on Death ; and Delitzsch, £id/. * See xiii. sec. 22, below. 

Psycfud. vL SCO. s and a. ^ A sunilar illustration occurs in sec. 15, above. 



74 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book IV. 



are they firmly established, else would they pass, 
and pass away. In Him, then, let them be 
beloved ; and draw unto Him along with thee 
as many souls as thou canst, and say to them, 
"Him let us love, Him let us love ; He created 
these, nor is He far off. For He did not create 
them, and then depart ; but they are of Him, 
and in Him. Behold, there is He wherever 
truth is known. He is within the very heart, 
but yet hath the heart wandered from Him. 
Return to your heart,* O ye transgressors,' and 
cleave fast unto Him that made you. Stand 
with Him, and you shall stand fast. Rest in 
Him, and you shall be at rest. Whither go ye 
in rugged paths ? Whither go ye ? The good 
that you love is from Him ; and as it has respect 
unto Him it is both good and pleasant, and 
justly shall it be embittered,' because whatso- 
ever cometh from Him is unjustly loved if He 
be forsaken for it. Why, then, will ye wander 
farther and farther in these difficult and toil- 
some ways? There is no rest where ye seek it. 
Seek what ye seek ; but it is not there where ye 
seek. Ye seek a blessed life in the land of 
death; it is not there. For could a blessed 
life be where life itself is not ? *' 

19. But our very Life descended hither, and 
bore our death, and slew it, out of the abund- 
ance of His own life ; and thundering He 
called loudly to us to return hence to Him into 
that secret place whence He came forth to us — 
first into the Virgin's womb, where the human 
creature was married to Him, — our mortal flesh, 
I hat it might not be for ever mortal, — and 
I hence **as a bridegroom coming out of his 
i hamber, rejoicing as a strong man to run a 
ace.*** For He tarried not, but ran crying 
uut by words, deeds, death, life, descent, 
.'scension, crying aloud to us to return to Him. 
And He de^jarted from our sight, that we might 
return to our heart, and there find Him. For 
He dejxirted, and behold, He is here. He 
would not be long with us, yet left us not ; for 
He departed thither, whence He never de- 
parted, because '* the world was made by Him. '* ^ 

* Augustin is never weary of pointing out that there is a lex occul- 
ta {in Ps. Ivii. sec. 1), a law written on the heart, which cries to 
those who have forsaken the written law, " Return to your hearts, 
ye transgressors." In like manner he interprets {DeSemi. I)om. 
in Man. li. sec 11) "Kntcr into thy closet," of the heart of man. l*he 
door is the cate of the senses through which carnal thoughts enter 
into the minil. Wc are to shut the door, because the devil (in /*j. 
cxli. 3) si clausmn invenerit transit. In sec. 16, above, the figure 
is changed, and we are to fear lest these objects of sense render us 
"deaf in the car of our heart" witli the tumult of otir folly. Men will 
not, he says, go back into their hearts, because the heart is full of 
sin, and they tear the reproaches of conscience, just (in Ps. xxxiii. 

"5) " as those are unwilling to enter their houses who have trouble- 
some wives." These outer things, which too often draw us away 
from Him, God intends should hft us up to Him who is better than 
they, though they could all be ours at once, since He made them 
all; and •'woe, ' he says {De Lib. Arb. ii. 16), " to them who 
love the indications of 1 hee rather than Tliee, and remember not 
what these indicated." 

« Isa. Ivi. 8. 

> See iv. cc. i, to, above, and vi. c. 16, below. 

< Ps. xix. 5. 

* John i. 10. i 



■ And in this world He was, and into this world. 
He came to save sinners,' unto whom my soul 
doth confess, that He may heal it, for it hath 
j sinned against Him.' () ye sons of men, how 
i long so slow of heart ? * Even now, after the 
I Life is descended to you, will ye not ascend and 
i live?' But whither ascend ye, w^hen ye are on 
! high, and set your mouth against the heavens?'* 
Descend that ye may ascend," and ascend to 
God. For ye have fallen by * * ascending against 
Him.*' Tell them this, that they may weep in 
the valley of tears," and so draw them with thee 
to God, because it is by His Spirit that thou 
speakest thus unto them, if thou speakest burn- 
ing with the fire of love. 



CHAP. xni. 



-LOVE ORICHNATES FROM GRACE AND 
BEAUTY ENTICING US. 



20. These things I knew not at that time, 
and 1 loved these lower beauties, and I was 
sinking to the very depths ; and I said to my 
friends, " Do we love anything but the beauti- 
ful? What, then, is the beautiful ? And what 
is beauty ? What is it that allures and unites us 
to the things we love ; for unless there were a 
grace and beauty in them, they could by no 
means attract us to them?*' And I marked 
and perceived that in bodies themselves there 
was a beauty from their forming a kind of 
whole, and another from mutual fitness, as one 
|)art of the body with its whole, or a shoe with 
a foot, and so on. And this consideration 
sprang up in my mind out of the recesses of my 

I heart, and I wrote books (two or three, I think) 
I '* on the fair and fit." Thou knowest, O Lord, 
, for it has escaj^ed me ; for I have them not, but 
they have straj'ed from me, I know not how. 

CHAP. XIV. — CONCERNING THE BOOKS WHICH HE 
WROTE **ON THE FAIR AND FIT,'* DEDICATED 
TO HIERIUS. 

21. But what was it that prompted me, O 
Lord my God, to dedicate these books to Hie- 
rius, an orator of Rome, whom I knew not by 

« I Tim. i. X5. 

7 Ps. xli. ^. 

* Luke XXIV. 2^. 

» " The Son of God," says Augustin in another place, " became a 
son of man, that the sons of men mieht be made sons of God." He 
put off thcyi»rw of God — that by which He manifested His divine 
glory in heaven— and put on the " form of a servant " ( Phil. ii. 6^ 7), 
that as the outshining laTTouyoTMa] of the Father's glory (Heb. 1, W 
He mijjht draw us to Himself. He descended and emptied Himself 
of His dignity that we might ascend, giving an example for all 
time (in Ps. xxxiii. sec. 4) ; for. " lest man .should disdain to imitate 
a humble man, God humbled Himself, so that the pride of the 
human race might not disdain to walk in the footsteps 0/ God'* 
See .ilso V. sec. 5, note, below. 
»(> Ps. IxxJii. 9. 

'• " There is something in humility' which, strangely enough, ex- 
alts the heart, and something in pride which debases it. Thi* 
seems, indeed, to be contradictory, that loftiness should debase and 
lowliness exalt. Hut pious humility enables us to submit to what is 
above us : and nothmg is more exalted above us than God : and 
therefore humility, by making us subject to God, exalts us." — De 
Civ. Dei, xiv. sec. 13. 
" Ps. Ixxxiv. 6. 



Chap. XV.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 75 

sight, but loved the man for the fame of his been so inflamed and provoked to love him. 

"* learning, for which he was renowned, and some And yet the things had not been different, nor 

words cf his which I had heard, and which had he himself different, but only the affections of 

pleased me ? But the more did he please me in the narrators. See where lieth the impotent 

that he pleased others, who highly extolled him, soul that is not yet sustained by the solidity of 

astonished that a native of Syria, instructed first truth ! Just as the blasts of tongues blow from 

in Greek eloquence, should afterwards become the breasts of conjecturers, so is it tossed this 

a wonderful Latin orator, and one so well versed way and that, driven forward and backward, 

in studies pertaining unto wisdom. Thus a man and the light is obscured to it and the truth not 

is compiended and loved when absent. Doth perceived. And behold it is before us. And 

this love enter into the heart of the hearer from to me it was a great matter that my style and 

the mouth of the commender ? Not so. But studies should be known to that man ; the which 

through one who loveth is another inflamed, if he approved, I were the more stimulated, but 

For hence he is loved who is commended when if he disapproved, this vain heart of mine, void 

the commender is believed to praise him with of Thy solidity, had been offended. And yet 

an unfeigned heart ; that is, when he that loves that ** fair and fit,'' about which I wrote to him, 

him praises him. I reflected on with pleasure, and contemplated 

22. Thus, then, loved I men upon the judg- it, and admired it, though none joined me in 

ment of men, not upon Thine, O my God, in doing so. 
which no man is deceived. But yet why not as 

the renowned charioteer, as the huntsman,* chap. xv. — ^while w-riting, being blinded by 

known far and wide by a vulgar popularity — corporeal iMA(;Fi>, he failed to recognise 

but far otherwise, and seriously, and so as I the spiritual nature of god. 

would desire to be myself commended ? For g^^^ ^^^ ^.^^ ^ji^ I ^^^j^^ ^j^^ ^i„ ^^ 

I would not that they should commend and love ^^j^j, ^^^^ impotent matter tu-ned in Thy wis- 

me as actors are -although I myself did com- ^ q Thou Omnipotent, "who alone doest 

mend and love them,-but I would prefer being ^^^^^^ „, ^^^ j^^j^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^ 

unknown than so known, and even bemg hated ^^ ^1 forms, and I defined and distinguished 

than so loved. Where now are these mfluences ^ .V^^j „ ^^^ ^.j^j^j, j^ ^^ ;„ -^^^^ ^„/„ ^ „ 

of such various and divers kinds of loves dis- ^^^^ ^j,;^^ j^ ^^^^^^if^, ^ -^ corresponds to some 

tnbuted in one soul? What .•; it that I am in ^^^^^ ^^. ^^^ ^^j^ j supported by corporeal 

love with in another, which if I did not hate, examples. And I turned my attention to the 

I should not detest and repel from myself, see- ^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^-^^ ^^^ ^l,^ ^^f^ opinions which 

ing we are equally men ? For it does not follow j entertained of spiritual things prevented me 

that because a good horse is loved by him who j.^^^ ^^. ^^^ /^^j, y^^ ^f^^ ^ ^^ 

would not though he ni.gh^ be that horse, the ^^^^ ^^^^^^ jj^,f ^„ ^^ \ ^^^^ 

same should therefore be affirmed by an actor, throbbing soul from incorporeal sub- 

who partakes of our nature. Do I then love m ^^^^ \^ lineaments, and colours, and bulky 

a man that which I, who am a man, hate to be? jjudes. And not being able to perceive 

Man himself is a great deep whose very hairs ^j^^ -^ ^^^ mind, I thought I could not per- 

Thou numberest, O Lord, and they fall not to ^^j^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^,,^^^^, -^ ^j^^^^ j ^^^^^ 

the ground without Thee.' And yet are the ^^ -^ viciousness I hated discord, in 

hairs of hK head more readily numbered than ^^^ j.^^^^^ j distinguished unity, but in the lat- 

are his affections and the movements of his ^^^ ^ ^^^^ ^^ jj^?j^„ ^„^^i„ ^^^^ ^^i^^ j 

heart. /• ,. , • . ' > . t conceived the rational soul and the nature of 

23 But that orator was of the kind that I so ^^^^^ ^„ ^ ^^ ,h^ ^^ief good ' to consist. But 

loved as I wished myself to be such a one ; and " 

I erred through an inflated pride, and was ** car- 4 p,, cxxxvi. 4. 

ried about with every wind," ' but yet was piloted * Augnsiin teiis us {Dr ov. n^f, xix that Vairo in his lost 

i_ rr»L ...1- 1- ...1 A'ji- ; book /.>/: /'/«7w<>/A/Vj, gives two hundred and eighty -eight djtfercnt 

by 1 hee, though very secretly. And whence | opinions as regards the chief good, and shows us how readily they 

know I, and whence confidently confess I unto "^^V ^ ^^^"«^ in number. Now as then philosophers ask the 

j.^ iTi ii« t ri_i same questions. We have our hedonists, whose good is their 

Thee that I loved him more because of the love own pleasure and happiness: our materialists, who would seek the 
^r 4.U.rw,^ ...U^ -^-^.V^^ u;..-* 4.U^» C^^ «.U« ,,^^,, i common good of all ; and our intuilionlsts, who aim at following the 

of those who praised him, than for the very dictates oT conscience. < when the pretensions of these -various 

things for which they praised him? Because schools ar« examined without prejudice^ the conclusion b forced 

had he been upraised, and these self-same men 
had dispraised him, and with dispraise and scorn 
told the same things of him, I should never have 

' See ri. «ec. 13, below. 

* Matt. X. 39, 30. 

* Efh. hr. 14. 



upon us that we must have recourse to Revelation for a reconcile- 
ment of the diflicultics of the various systems ; and that the philoso- 
phers, to employ Davidson's happy illustration (/*ro//ttctrs, In- 
trod.), f<»rgetting that their faded taper has been insensil-ly kindled 
by gospel lieht, are attempting now, as in Augustin's lime i/7/V/. sec. 
4), " to fabricate for themselves a happiness in this life ba«Jed upon 
a virtue as deceitful as it is proud." Chri.stianity gives the eoldcn 
key to the attainment of happiness, when it declares that " godlineu 
is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life which now 
is, and of that which is to come" (i Tim. iv. 8). It was a saying 



76 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book IV 



in this division I, unfortunate one, imagined 
there was I know not what substance of irra- 
tional life, and the nature of the chief evil, 
which should not be a substance only, but real 
life also, and yet not emanating from Thee, O 
my God, from whom are all things. And yet 
the first I called a Monad, as if it had been a 
soul without sex,^ but the other a Duad, — anger 
in deeds of violence, in deeds of passion, lust, 
— not knowing of what I talked. For I had 
not known or learned that neither was evil a 
substance, nor our soul that chief and unchange- 
able good. 

25. For even as it is in the case of deeds of 
violence, if that emotion of the soul from 
whence the stimulus comes be depraved, and 
carry itself insolently and mutinously ; and in 
acts of passion, if that affection of the soul 
whereby carnal pleasures are imbibed is unre- 
strained, — so do errors and false opinions con- 
taminate the life, if the reasonable soul itself be 
depraved, as it was at that time in me, who was 
ignorant that it must be enlightened by another 
light that it may be partaker of truth, seeing 
that itself is not that nature of truth. *' For 
Thou wilt light my candle ; the Lord my God 
will enlighten my darkness;* and ** of His ful- 
ness have all we received," ' for '* that was the 
true Light which lighted every man that cometh 
into the world;'** for in Thee there is ** no 
variableness, neither shadow of turning. ' ' * 

26. But I pressed towards Thee, and was 
re{)elled by Thee that I might taste of death, 
for Thou '*resistest the proud." • But what 

of Bacon {Essay 0n Adversity), that while " prosperity is the 
blessins of the Old Testament, adversity is the blessing of the 
New.' He would have been nearer the truth had he said that 
while temporal rewards were the special promise of the Old Testa- 
ment, spiritual rewards are the s(>ecial promise of the New. For 
thoueh Christ's immediate followers haa to suffer " adversity " in 
the plantine of our faith, adversity cannot properly he said to l>e the 
result of following Christ. It has yet to be shown that, on the 
whole, the greatest amount of real happiness docs not result, even in 
this life, from a Christian life, for virtue is, even here, its own 
reward. The fulness of the reward, however, will only be received 
in the life to come. Augustin's remark, therefore, still holds good 
that " life eternal is the supreme good, and death eternal the supreme 
evil, and that to obtain the one and escape the other we must live 
rightly" libid. sec 4); and again, that even in the midst of the 
troubles of life, " as we are saved, so we are made happy, by hope. 
And as we do not as yet possess a present, but look for a future sal- 
vation, so it is with our happiness, . . .we ought patiently to 
endure till we come to the ineffable enjoyment of unmixed goo<l." 
See Abb^ Anselme, 5«r ie SouTtrain Bten, vol. v. serm. i ; and 
the last chapter of Professor Sidgwick's Methods 0/ Ethics, for the 
conclusions at which a mind at once lucid and dispassionate has 
arrived on this question. 

* "Or 'an unintelligent soul;' very^ood Mss. reading ' sensu' 
the majority , it appears, ' sejcn.' If we read ' sfjrtt,' the absolute 
unity 01 the first principle, or Monad, may l)e insisted upon, and in 
the mferior principle, diviaed into ' violence ' and ' lust,' ' violence,' 
as implying strength, may be looked on as the male, ' lust ' was, in 
mythology, represented as female ; if we take ' sensu,' it will ex- 
press the living but unintelligent sotil of the world in the Manicha:an, 
as a pantheistic system." — E. B. P. 

* Ps. xviii. 28. Augustin constantly urges our recognition of the 
truth that C»od is the ** Father of lights." From Him as our central 
sun, all light, whether of wisdom or knowledge, proceedeth, and if, 
changing tne.fi gure, our candle which He hath lignted be blown out. 
He agam miut light it. Compare Enar. in Fs. xciii. 147; and 
Sermons, 67 and 341. 



ohn i. 16. 

ohn i. 9. 

as. i. 17. 

as. iv. 6, and i PeL v. 5. 



prouder than for me, with a marvellous madness 
to assert myself to be that by nature which Thoi 
art? For whereas I was mutable, — so mucl 
being clear to me, for my very longing tc 
become wise arose from the wish from worse tc 
become better, — yet chose I rather to thinl* 
Thee mutable, than myself not to be that whicl 
Thou art. Therefore was I repelled by Thee 
and Thou resistedst my changeable stiffnecked 
ness ; and I imagined corporeal form§, and 
being flesh, I accused flesh, and, being ** a wine 
that passeth away,** ' I returned not to Thee, bu 
went wandering and wandering on towards thos( 
things that have no being, neither in Thee, noi 
in me, nor in the body. Neither were the) 
created for me by Thy truth, but conceived bj 
my vain conceit out of corporeal things. Anc 
I used to a^k Thy faithful little ones, my fellow 
citizens, — from whom I unconsciously stooc 
exiled, — I used flippantly and foolishly to ask 
** Why, then, doth the soul which God createc 
err? " But I would not permit any one to asl 
me, ** Why, then, doth God err ? *' And I con 
tended that Thy immutable substance erred o( 
constraint, rather than admit that my mutabl< 
substance had gone astray of free will, and errec 
as a punishment.® 

27. I was about six or seven and twenty year 
of age when I wrote those volumes — meditating 
upon corporeal fictions, which clamoured in the 
cars of my heart. These I directed, O sweet 

7 Ps. Ixxviii. ^. 

8 It may a.vsist those unacquainted with Augustin's writings tc 
understand the last three sections, if we set before them a brief viev 
of the Manichzan speculations as to the good and evil principles, anc 
the nature of the human soul : — (i) The Manichasans believed thai 
there were two principles or substances, one good and the other evil 
and that both were eternal and opposed one to the other. Ilie gooc 
principle they called God. and the evil, matter or Hyle i^Con. Faust, 
xxi. I, 2). Vaustus, in nis argument with Augustin, admits thai 
they sometimes called- the evil nature " (rod," but simply as a con< 
vcntional usage. Augu.stin says thereon {ibid. sec. 4) : " Faustua 
glibly defends himself by saying, ' We speak not of two gods, but 
of God and Hyle ;' but when you ask for the meaning of Hyle, you find 
that it is in fact another eod. If the Manichseans gave the name of 
Hyle, as the ancients did, to the unformed matter which is suscepti. 
blc of bodily forms, we should not accuse them of making two gods. 
But it is pure folly and madness to give to matter the power of 
forming bodies, or to deny that what has this power is God." 
Augustin alludes in the above passage to the Platonic theory of 
matter, which, as the late Dean Mansel has shown tis (Gnostic 
Heresies, BasHides, etc.), resulted after his time in Pantheism, and 
which was entirely opposed to the dualism of Manicha:us. It is to 
this "power of lormmg bodies" claimed for matter, then, thai 
.Aiugustm alludes in our text (sec. 24) as " not onlv a substance but 
real life also." (2) The human s<ml the Manichxans declared to 
be of the same nature as God. though not created by Him — ^it hav- 
ing originated in the intermingling of part of His l)eing with the 
evil prmciple. in the conflict between the kingdoms of light and 
darkness (in Vs. cxl. sec. 10). Augustin says to Faustus : " You 
generally call your soul not a temple, but a part or member of God " 
\Con. Faust, xx. 15); and thus, '• identifying themselves with the 
nature and substance of Ciod" (ibid. xii. 13), they did not refer their 
sin in themselves, but to the race of darkness, and so did not " prevail 
over their sin." That is, they denied original sin, and as.serted that 
it necessarily re.sulted from tne soul's contact with the body. To 
this Augustin steadily replied, that as the soul was not of the nature 
of God, but created by Him and endowed with free will, man was 
responsible for his transgressions. Again, referring to the Confes- 
sions, we find Augustin speaking consistently with his then belief, 
when he says that he had not then learned that the soul was not a 
" chief and unchangeable good " (sec. 34), or that " it was not that 
nature of truth" (sec. 25); and that when he transgressed "he 
accused flesh" rather than himself; and, as a result of his Mani- 
chaean errors (sec. 26), " contended that (kxl's immutable substance 
erred of constraint, rather than admit that his mutable substance 
had gone astray of free will, and erred as a punishment." 



Chap. XVI,] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



n 



Truth, to Thy inward melody, pondering on 
the " lair and fit," and longing to stay and lis- 
ten to Thee, and to rejoice greatly at the Bride- 
groom's voice,' and I could not; for by the 
voices of my own errors was I driven forth, and 
by the weight of my own pride was I sinking 
into the lowest pit. For Thou didst not "make 
me to hear joy and gladness;" nor did the 
bones which were not yet humbled rejoice.' 



CHAP. XVI. — HE VERY EASILY UNDERSTOOD THE 
LIBERAL ARTS AND THE CATEGORIES OK ARIS- 
TOTLE, BUT WITHOUT TRUE FRUIT. 

aS. And what did it profit me that, when 
scarce twenty year^ old, a book of Aristotle's, 
entitled The Ten PretUcamenis, fell into my 
hands, — on whose very name I hung as on 
something great and divine, when my rhetoric 
master of Carthage, and others who were es- 
teemed learned, referred to it with cheeks swell- 
ing with pride, — I read it alone and understood 
it? And on my conferring with others, who 
said that with the assistance of very able mas- 
ters — who not only explained it orally, but 
drew many things in the dust' — they scarcely 
understood it, and could tell me no more about 
it than I had acquired in reading it by myself 
alone ? And the book appeared to me to speak 
plainly enough of substances, such as man is, 
and of their qualities, — such as the figure of a 
man, of what kind it is ; and his stature, how 
many feet high ; and his relationship, whose 
brother he is ; or where placed, or when born ; 
or whether he stands or sits, or is shod or armed, 
or does or suffers anything; and whatever in- 
numerable things might be classed under these 
nine categories,*— -of which I have given some 
examples, — or under that chief category of sub- ' 
stance. 

19. What did all this profit me, seeing it even 
hindered me, when, imagining that whatsoever 
; existed was comprehended in those ten cate- 
gories, I tried so to understand, O my God, 
Thy wonderful and unchangeable unity as if 
Thou also hadst been subjected to Thine own 
greatness or beauty, so that they should exist in 
Thee as their subject, like as in bodies, whereas 



:fc"if.Ti^ 








>A.lhcin>thc^ 










cd by Aiaioile ate 6i«ria, .iw 


i;.i™;», 


■pirn. TIE, rin 


...Bft". 










rw(c. wb«an«. q 


uanlily, q 


ality. «la..un. place linu, 
The calahgue fwhicl. certa, 




F^dt'^^"' 


u«r«i^,^ 


nly>b!Ii 




u been 


» Hnc writen wUrged, u 
bdividing ixma oT the head* 




oftm Sr^lli, a 


dowhy. 


'atui'bv 




EH evldeni that all may uUimuelv be 


frfemd 10 the iwo 


Mds or J 




(he lan- 


page of »me logic 


am, 'oct 


rff^'"(Wha.e1y-.Z,Ki-. 




'^^.^^r.. 




in Lalin (he frudicamtnU 




predicalt 


in the tune KIM oT all uh 




•• well u of all the 


jbJKBde 


mited by them, whereai no 01 




an bt coRccily lu 






ed lo ei- 


E,?.r""" 


ot their meaning" (Uillia, ^iHi/>m 


,^Aru- 



Thou Thyself art Thy greatness and beauty? 

But a body is not great or fair because it is a 
body, seeing that, though it were less great or 
fair, it should nevertheless be a body. But that 
which I had conceived of Thee was falsehood, 
not truth, — fictions of my misery, not the sup- 
ports of Thy blessedness. For Thou hadt: 
commanded, and it was done in me, that the 
earth should bring forth briars and thorns to 
me,* and that with labour I should get my 

30. And what did it profit me that I, the 
base slave of vile afiections, read unaided, and 

' understood, all the books that I could get of 
I the so-called liberal arts? And I took delight 
I in them, but knew not whence came whatever 
I in them was true and certain. For my back 
then was to the light, and my face towards thi 
I things enlightened ; whence my fiice, with 
j which I discerned the things enlightened, was 
not itself enlightened. Whatever was written 
either on rhetoric or logic, geometry, music, 
or arithmetic, did I, without any great difficulty, 
and without the teaching of any man, under^ 
stand, as Thou knowest, O I^rd my God, be- 
cause both quickness of comprehension and 
acuteness of perception are Thy gifts. Yet did 
I not thereupon sacrifice to Thee, So, then, it 
served not to my use, but rather to my destruc- 
tion, since I went about to get so good a portion 
of my substance' into my own power; and I 
kept not my strength for Thee,' hut went away 
from Thee into a far country, to waste it upon 
liarlotries.* For what did good abilities profit 
me, if I did not employ them to good uses? 
For I did not perceive that those arts were 
acquired with great difficulty, even by the stu- 
dious and those gifled whh genius, until I en- 
deavoured to explain them to such ; and he was 
the most proficient in them who followed my 
explanations not too slowly, 

31. But what did this profit me, supposing 
that Thou, O Lord God, the Truth, wert a 
bright and vast body,'* and I a piece of that 
body ? Perverseness too great ! But such was 
I. Nor do 1 blush, O my God, to confess to 
Thee Thy mercies towards me, and to call upon 
Thee — I, who blushed not then to avow before 
men my blasphemies, and to bark against Thee. 
What profited me then my nimble wit in those 
sciences and all those knotty volumes, disen- 
tangled by me without help from a human mas- 
ter, seeing that I erred so odiously, and with 
such sacrilegious baseness, in the doctrine of 
piety? Or what impediment was it to Thy 



78 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book IV. 



little ones to have a far slower wit, seeing that 
they departed not far from Thee, that in the 
nest of Thy Church they might safely become 
fledged, and nourish the wings of charity by the 
food of a sound faith ? O Lord our God, under 
the shadow of Thy wings let us hope,* defend 
us, and carry us. Thou wilt carry us both when 
little, and even to grey hairs wilt Thou carry 
us ; • for our firmness, when it is Thou, then is 



* Ps. zxxvi. 7. 
s Isa. zlvi. 4. 



it firmness ; but when it is our own, then it is 
infirmity. Our good lives always with Thee, 
from which when we are averted we are per- 
verted. Let us now, O Lord, return, that we 
be not overturned, because with Thee our good 
lives without any eclipse, — which good Thou 
Thyself art.' And we need not fear lest we 
should find no place unto which to return be- 
cause we fell away from it ; for when we were 
absent, our home — Thy Eternity — fell not. 

— ■ ■ ■ ■ »^^» - ■! - I ■ ■ 1 ■ ■ » ■ ■■■! ■■ M 1 I I ■ ■ ■ ■ ^^ I 1 ■— — ^M^^W^M^^B^^^— ^ 

s See xi. sec. s» note, below. 



BOOK V. 



)ESCRIBES THE TWENTY-NINTH YEAR OP HIS AGE, IN WHICH, HAVING DISCOVERED T 
OF THE UANtCH£ANS, HE PROPESSED RHETORIC AT ROME AND MILAN. HAVING HEJ 
HE BEGINS TO COME TO HIUSELP. 



Accept the sacrifice of my conTessions 
le agency of my tongue, which Thou hast 
ed and quickened, that it may confess to 
name ; and heal Thou ail my bones, and 
lem say, ' ' Lord, who is like unto Thee ? " ' 
neither does he who confesses to Thee teach 
■ what may be passing within him, because 
sed heart doth not exclude Thine eye, nor 

man's hardness of heart repulse Thine 
1, but Thou dissolvest it when Thou wiliest, 
T in pity or in vengeance, "and there is 
ne who can hide himself from Thy heal." ' 
let my soul praise Thee, that it may love 
; ; and let it confess Thine own mercies to 
;, that it may praise Thee. Thy whole 
;ion ceaseth not, nor is it silent in Thy 
cs — neither the spirit of man, by the voice 
:ted unto Thee, nor animal nor corporeal 
js, by the voice of those meditating there- 
' so that our souls may from their weariness 

towards Thee, leaning on those things 
h Thou hast made, and passing on to Thee, 
hast made them wonderfully ; and there is 
• refreshment and true strength. 



Let the restless and the unjust depart and 
"rem Thee, Thou both seest them and dis- 
lishesl the shadows. And lo ! all things 



with them are fair, yet are they themselves foul,* 
And how have they injured Thee?' Or in 
what have they disgraced Thy government, 
which is just and perfect from heaven even to 
the lowest parts of the earth, ^or whither lied 
ihey when they fied from Thy presence?* Or 
where dost Thou not find them ? But they ■ 
lied that they might not see Thee seeing them, 
and blinded might stumble against Thee ;' since 
Thou forsakest nothing that Thou hast made" — 
that the unjust might stumble against Thee, and 
justly be hurt,* withdrawing themselves from 
Thy gentleness, and stumbling against Thine 
uprightness, and falhng upon their own rough- 
ness. Forsooth, they know not that Thou art 
everywhere whom no place encompasseth, aAd 
that Thou alone art near even to those that re- 
move far from Thee." Let them, then, be con- 



* Auguslin frequtnlly re 
Piwiunctf, the foulixu a 
and fainiHi uf (he uniMi» 
iniBk. palnli 






ttSS 



iideabvTC 



. .§): I 



ih'M5j»'^ 



gE.idlhe^aulysf 



arranged, u it wrrt^^ »n tlo^utiict nM of woidi, bol ot Ihinp. 

They mmcd to him 10 render <he idea enlenalned liy Origen IDr 
I /V/iK. i 6} and other Falhen at lo a genera] miotaiion (aroca- 
TiuTitaii] unneceuary. See Hagenbach'i /iul. •!fDecl. eic. i, ]8} 
(Clarti). 
' " In Scripture they are called God'i cncmiei who opgiK Hit 



PablmakiaTa " mindina of the flesh " and a "minding of 
rit" (Rani. viii. 6, margin), and we arc prone 10 be attracted 

luiri querunt Id wx per ocuLw, pcT aurei, cettTimjue cotporia 

t« Oft the Ihimn that enter by ibe Bates 1^ the itenses. to ariie 
■ Kim.thrniehlheMHiicTeaturen. Our Father in heaTcn 
haire ordetwl His crcAtioit simply ina utilitarian way, letting, 
uBpId hunger be utliBed without any oT the pleaiurea oT 
indso oT the other senm. Itiil He lia> not hi dons. To 
iensc He han given Its appropriate pleasure as well as Its 
use. And though tht» pr»ent4 ti> us a source of temptation, 
ghtwe for h to praise Kli eeieidne'M lu the full, and that cardt 



chaiiEeabie, and wiioILy proof against iniury" \Vt Cm.. 

'Wi»d,"il,a'i^''(JM w^. 

• He also rtfen to the injury man doe^ himself by tii 

'^¥he l\a S^ich ^kes"bw '^'^i^ c^ll^ Cod's eni 



through tl 



il lolely becaiii 



loCodbv 



._ ;e shouM thank Cod that we are not 

uniihed KDi Civ. Dei. aii, jl. But if, when Cod punLihei u>, 
still continue In our sin, we shall be more confirmed in habits of 
and then.aa Augustin m another place {in /V. vii. 1O warns 

• r-^a:^.i- .: — . — ...n, v. if,e puni\hmcnl of Cod for 

Iso Butler's .4M%r, Pt. i. 



our fotilily hi sinning will be 
ch. s," On a state ofprohationas inlci 
"tifKtlxaBi.aj. 



So 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book V. 



verted and seek Thee ; because not as (hey have 
forsaken their Creator .hast Thou forsaken Thy 
creature. Let tliem be converted and seek 
Thee; and behold, Thou art therein their hearts, 
in the hearts of those who confess to Thee, and 
cast themselves upon Thee, and weep on Thy 
bosom after their obdurate ways, even 'Hiou 
gently wiping away their tears. And they weep 
the more, and rejoice in weeping, since Thou, 

Lord, not man, flesh and blood, but Thou, 
Lord, who didst make, remakeat and comforti 
them. And where was I when I was seeking 
Thee? And Thou wert before me, but I had 
gone away even from myself; nor did I find 
myself, much less Thee 1 

CHAP. III. HAVING HEARD FAlTSTUfi, THE MOST 

LEARNED BISHOP OF THE MANICH*:ANS, 
DISCERNS THAT GOD, THE AUTHOR BOTH OT 
THINGS ANIMATE AND INANIMATE, CHIEFLY 
HAS CARE FOR THE HUMBLE. 

3- Let me lay bare before my God that 
twenty-ninth year of my age. There had at 
Ihis time come to Carthage a certain bishop of 
the Manichxans, by name Faustus, a great snare 
of the devil, and many were entangled by him 
through the allurement of his smooth speech ; 
the which, although I did commend, yet could 

1 separate from the truth of those things which 
1 was eager to learn. Nor did I esteem the 
small dish of oratory so much as the science, 
which this their so praised Faustus placed before 
ine to feed upon. Fame, indeed, had before 
spoken of him to me, as most skilled in all be- 
coming learning, and pre-eminently skilled in 
the liberal sciences. And as I had read and re- 
tained in memory many injunctions of the phil- 
usophers, I used to compare some teachings of 
theirs with those long fables of the Manichajans; 
and the former things which they declared, who 
could only prevail so far as to estimate this 
lower world, while its lord they could by no 
means find out,' seemed to me the more proba- 
ble. For Thou art great, O Lord, and hast 
"respect unto the lowly, but the proud Thou 
knowest afar off.'" Nor dost Thou draw near 
Imt to the contrite heart,' nor art Thou found 
Ly the proud,' — not even could they number by 
cunning skill the stare and the sand, and meas- 
ure the starry regions, and trace the courses of 
the planets. 

4. For with their understanding and the 
capacity which Thou hast bestowed upon them 
■ they search out these things ; and much have 
they found out, and foretold many years before, 
— the eclipses of those luminaries, the sun and 

■WikI, lill.g. 



moon, on what day, at what hour, and from 
how many particular points they were likely to 
come. Nor did their calculation fail ihem ; 
and it came to pass even as they foretold. 
And they wrote down the rules found out, 
which are read at this day ; and from these 
others foretell in what year, and in what month 
of the year, and on what dayof the month, and 
at what hour of the day, and at what quarter of 
its light, either moon or sun is to be eclipsed, 
and thus it shall be even as it is foretold. And 
men who are ignorant of these things marvel 
and are amazed, and they that know them exult 
and are exalted ; and by an impious pride, de- 
parting from Thee, and forsaking Thy light, 
they foretell a failure of the sun's light which is 
likely to occur so long before, but see not their 
own, which is now present. For they seek not 
religiously whence they have the ability where- 
with they seek out these things. And finding 
that Thou ha.st made them, they give not them- 
selves up to Thee, that Thou mayest preserve 
what Thou hast made, nor sacrifice themselves 
to 'i'hee, even such as they have made them- 
selves to be ; nor do they slay their own pride, 
as fowls of the air,' nor their own curiosities, by 
which (like the fishes of the sea) they wander 
over the unknown paths of the abyss, nor their 
own extravagance, as the " beasts of the field,"* 
that Thou, Lord, "a consuming fire,'" mayest 
burn up their lifeless cares and renew them 
immortally. 

5. But the way — Thy Word,' by whom Thou 
didst make these things which- they number, 
and themselves who number, and the sense by 
which they perceive what they number, and 
the judgment out of which they number — they 
knew not, and that of Thy wisdom there is no 
number.' But the Only-begotten has becnj 
" made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and 
sanctification,"" and has been numbered 
amongst us, and paid tribute to Ciesar." This 
way, by which they might descend to Him from 
themselves, they knew not; nor that through 
Him they might ascend unto Him." This way 
they knew not, and they think themselves ex- 
alted with the stars" and shining, and lo I they 
fell upon the earth," and "their foolish lieari 

IhotTwhu h'uvc uui ^'ai^^l^^ty.wGIle'li.c bcuuof the fiTld 

ciirRipnnJence bccwccn Ihem uid Iht liui oribt lleth, the lull cf 
the eye, and ihe priile at i\<c, in i John il. iG, Sec alio abuvc. 



Chap. V.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



8i 



was darkened."* They say many true things 
concerning the creature ; but Truth, the Artificer 
of the creature, they seek not with devotion, 
and hence they find Him not. Or if they find 
Him, knowing that He is God, they glorify 
Him not as God, neither are they thankful,' 
but become vain in their imaginations, and say 
that they themselves are wise,' attributing to 
themselves what is Thine ; and by this, with 
most perverse blindness, they desire to impute 
to Thee what is their own, forging lies against 
Thee who art the Truth, and changing the glory 
of the incorruptible God into an image made 
like corruptible man, and to birds, and four- 
footed beasts, and creeping things,* — changing 
Thy truth into a lie, and worshipping and serv- 
ing the creature more than the Creator.* 

6. Many truths, however, concerning the 
creatiure did I retain from these men, and the 
cause appeared to me from calculations, the 
succession of seasons, and the visible manifes- 
tations of the stars ; and I compared them with 
the sayings of Manichaeus, who in his frenzy 
has written most extensively on these subjects, 
but discovered not any account either of the 
solstices, or the equinoxes, the eclipses of the 
luminaries, or Bxiything of the kind I had 
learned in the books of secular philosophy. 
But therein I was ordered to believe, and yet it 
corresponded not with those rules acknowledged 
by calculation and my own sight, but was far 
different. 

CHAP. IV. ^THAT THE KNOWLEDGE OF TERRES- 
TRIAL AND CELESTIAL THINGS DOES NOT GIVE 
HAPPINESS, BUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF GO£) 
ONLY. 

7. Doth, then, O Lord God of truth, whoso- 
ever knoweth those things therefore please 
Thee ? For unhappy is the man who knoweth 
all those things, but knoweth Thee not; but 
happy is he who knoweth Thee, though these 
he may not know.* But he who knoweth 
both TTiee and them is not the happier on 
account of them, but is happy on account of 
Thee only, if knowing Thee he glorify Thee as 

1 Rom. i. ai. ' 

* Rom. i. aa. 

* Rom. i. 23. 

* Rom. I. as. 

* What a contrast does his attitude here present to his supreme 
regard for secular learning before his conversion ! We have con- 
kUntly in his writings expressions of the same kind. On Psalm ciii. 
he dilates lovingly on the fount of happiness the word of God is, as 
compared with the writings of Cicero, Tully , and Plato ; and again 
on Psalm xxxviii. he shows that the word is the source of all true 
joy. So likewise in De Trtn. iv. i : " That mind is more praise- 
worthy which knows even its own weakness, than that which, with- 
out regard to this, searches out and even comes to know the ways 
of the stars, or which holds fast such knowledge already acquired, 
while isnorant of the way by which itself to enter into iu own 
proper health and strength. . . . Such a one has preferred to 
know his own weakness, rather than to know the walls of the world, 
the foundations of the earth, and the pinnacles of heaven." See iii. 
>ec. 9, note, above. 



God, and gives thanks, and becomes not vain 
in his thoughts.'' But as he is happier who 
knows how to possess a tree, and for the use 
thereof renders thanks to Thee, although he 
may not know how many cubits high it is, or 
how wide it spreads, than he that measures it 
and counts all its branches, and neither owns it 
nor knows or loves its Creator ; so a just man, 
whose is the entire world of wealth,® and who, 
as having nothing, yet possesseth all things' by 
cleaving unto Thee, to whom all things are 
subservient, though he know not even the cir- 
cles of the Great Bear, yet it is foolish to doubt 
but that he may verily be better than he who 
can measure the heavens, and number the stars, 
and weigh the elements, but is forgetful of 
Thee, " who hast set in order all things in num- 
ber, weight, and measure. ' ' ^^ 

CHAP. V. OF MANICHiEUS PERTINACIOUSLY TEACH- 
ING FALSE DOCTRINES, AND PROUDLY ARROGAT- 
ING TO HIMSELF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 

8. But yet who was it that ordered Mani- 
chaeus to write on these things likewise, skill in 
which was not necessary to piety ? For Thou 
hast told man to behold piety and wisdom," of 
which he might be in ignorance although hav- 
ing a complete knowledge of these other things ; 
but since, knowing not these things, he yet 
most impudently dared to teach them, it is clear 
that he had no acquaintance with piety. For 
even when we have a knowledge of these worldly 
matters, it is folly to make a profession of them ; 
but confession to Thee is piety. It was there- 
fore with this view that this straying one spake 
much of these matters, that, standing convicted 
by those who had in truth learned them, the 
understanding that he really had in those more 
difficult things might be made plain. For he 
wished not to be lightly esteemed, but went 
about trying to persuade men ** that the Holy 
Ghost, the Comforter and Enricher of Thy 
faithful ones, was with full authority personally 
resident in him. * * " When, therefore, it was dis- 

T Rom. i. 21. 

• Prov. xvii. 6, in the LXX. 

• 2 Cor. vi. xo. 
w Wisd. xi. 20. 

11 Job xxviii. 38 in LXX. reads : *I8ov 1^ 9«o<r^|S«(i ivxK tro^Ca. 

1* This claim of Manichaeus was supported by referring to the 
Lord's promise (lohn xvi. 12, 13) toseno the Holy Ghost, the Com- 
forter, to guide tne apostles into that truth which they were as yet 
"not able to bear. The Manichaeans used the words "Para- 
clete" and "Comforter," as indeed the names of the other two 
persons of the blessed Trinity, in a sense entirely different from that 
of the gospel. These terms were little more than the bodily frame, 
the som 01 which was his own heretical belief. Whenever opposi- 
tion appeared between that belief and the teaching of Scripture, 
their ready answer was that the Scriptures had been corrupted (ZV 
Mor. Ecc. Cath. xxviii. and xxix.) ; and in such a case, as we find 
Faustus contending {Con. Faust, xxxii. 6), the Paraclete taught 
them what part to receive and what to reject, according to the pro- 
mise of Jesus that He should " guide them into all truth," and 
much more to the same effect. Augustin's whole argument in re- 
ply is well worthy of attention. Amongst other things, he points 
out that the Manichsan pretension to having received tne promised 
Paraclete was precisely the same as that of the Montunists in the 
previous century. It should be observed that Beausobre {Histeir*, 



\y 



83 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book V. 



covered that his teaching concerning the hea- 
vens and stars, and the motions of sun and 
moon, was false, though these tilings do not re- 
late to the doctrine of religion, yet his sacri- 
legious arrogance would become sufficiently evi- 
dent, seeing that not only did he affirm things 
of which he knew nothing, but also perverted 
them, and with such egregiou.^ vanity of pride 
as to seek to attribute ihcrr. to hin^self as to a 
divine ^ing. 

g. For when I hear a Christian brother igno- 
rant of these things, or in error concerning 
them, I can bear with p;>tience to see that man 
hold to his opinions; nor tan I apprehend that 
any want of knowledge as to the situation or 
nature of this material creation can be injurious 
to him, so long as he does not entertain belief 
in anything unworthy of Thee, Lord, the 
Creator of all. But if he conceives it to pertain 
to the form of the doctrine of piety, and jjre- 
sumcs to affirm with great obstinacy that where- 
of he is ignorant, therein lies the injury. And 
yet even a weakness such as this in the dawn of 
&ith is borne by our Mother Charity, till the 
new man may grow up " unto a perfect man," 
and not be " carried about with every wind of 
doctrine,"' But in him who thus presumed to 
beat once the teacher, author, head, and leader of 
all whom he could induce to believe this, so that 
all who followed him believed that they were 
following not a simple man only, but Thy Holy 
Spirit, who would not judge that such great 
insanity, when once it stood convicted of false 
teaching, should be abhorred and utterly cast 
off? But I had not yet clearly ascertained 
whether the changes of longer and shorter days 
and nights, and day and night itself, with the 
eclipses of the greater lights, and whatever of 
the lil^e kind I liad read in other books, could 
be expounded consistently with his words. 
Should I have found myself able to do so, there 
would still have remained a doubt in my mind' 
whether it were so or no, although I might, on 
the strength of his reputed godliness,' rest my 
faith on his authority. 

CHAP. VI. — FAUSTUS WAS INDEED AN ELEGANT 
SPEAKER, BUT KNEW NOTHING OF THE LIBERAL 
SCIENCES. 

' lo. And for nearly the whole of those nine 
years during which, with unstable mind, I had 
been their follower, I had been looking forward 
with but too great eagerness for the arrival of 
this same Faustus. For the other members of 
the sect whom I had chanced to light upon. 



&5!;il%»' 



' when unable to answer .the questions I raised, 
' always bade me look forward to his coming, 
I when, by discoursing with him, these, and 
greater difficulties if 1 had them, would be most 
easily and amply cleared away. When at last 
he did come, I found him to be a man of pleas- 
ant speech, who spoke of the very same things 
as they themselves did, although more fluently, 
and in better language. But of what profit to 
me was the elegance of my cup-bearer, since he 
offered me not the more precious draught for 
which I thirsted ? My ears were already sati- 
ated with similar things; neither did they 
appear to me more conclusive, because better 
expressed ; nor true, because oratorical ; nor the 
spirit necessarily wise, because the face was 
comely and the language eloquent. But they 
who extolled him to me were not competent 
judges ; and therefore, as he was possessed of 
suavity of speech, he appeared to them to be 
prudent and wise. Another sort of persons, 
however, was, I was aware, suspicious even of 
truth itself, if enunciated in smooth and flowing 
language. But me, O my God, Thou hadst 
already instructed by wonderful and mysterious 
ways, and therefore I believe that Thou in- 
structedst me because it is truth ; nor of truth 
is there any other teacher — where or whenceso- 
ever it may shine uix>n us' — but Thee. From 
Thee, therefore, I had now learned, that be- 
cause a thing is eloquently expressed, it should 
not of necessity seem to be true ; nor, because 
uttered with stammering lips, should it be iaise ; 
' nor, again, perforce true, because unskilfully 
' delivered ; nor consequently untrue, because 
I the language is fine ; but that wisdom and folly 
j are as food both wholesome and unwholesome, 
and courtly or simple words as town-made or 
I rustic vessels, — and both kinds of food may be 
I served in either kind of dish, 
I II. That eagerness, therefore, with which I ■ 
I had so long waited for this man was in truth 
I delighted with his action and feeling when dis- 
puting, and the fluent and apt words with which 
he clothed his ideas. I was therefore filled with 
joy, and joined with others (and even exceeded 
them) in exalting and praising him. It was, 
however, a source of annoyance to me that I 
was not allowed at those meetings of his audi- 
tors to introduce and impart * any of those ques- 
tions that troubled me in familiar exchange of 
argtiments with him. When I might speak, and 
began, in conjunction with my friends, to engage 
his attention at such times as it was not unseem- 
ing for him lo enter into a discussion with me, 



[■(Lukcii. 4«)- So it ii Hi 



Chap. VII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



83 



and had mooted such questions as perplexed me, 
1 discovered him first to know nothing of the 
liberal sciences save gnunmar, and that only in 
an ordinary way. Having, however, read some 
of Tully's Oratiom, a very few books of Seneca, 
and some of the poets, and such few volumes of 
hb own sect as were written coherently in Latin, 
and being day by day practised in spewing, he so 
acquired a sort of eloquence, which proved the 
more delightful and enticing in that it was under 
the control of ready tact, and a sort of native 
grace. Is it not even as I recall, O Lord my 
God, Thou judge of my conscience ? My heart 
and my memory, are laid before Thee, who 
didst at that time direct me by the inscru- 
table mystery of Thy Providence, and didst 
set before my face those vile errore of mine, in 
order that I might see and loathe them. 

CHAP. VII, CLEARLY SEEING THE FALLAOES OK 

r AAt. HANICH.CANS, HE RETIRES FROM THEM, 
^/ BEING REMARKABLY AIDED BY GOD. 

1 1. For when it became plain to me that he 
was ignorant of those arts in which I had ' 
believed him to excel, I began to despair of 
his clearing up and explaining all the perplex- 
ities which harassed me : though ignorant of ; 
these, however, he might still have held the 
truth of piety, had he not been a Manichiean. 1 
For their books are full of lengthy iables' con- 1 
cerning the heaven and stars, the sun and moon, 
and I had ceased to think him able to decide ' 
in a satisfactory manner what I ardently desired, , 



\. lniliat'"raUa" 



< Wc ban rdcmd In the note on ill. hc. 
Thich ihc HanidiKua pUDdicd Scripcure iu 

cUt to nmirliably evidtnced. "I'd thoe , ..,_ _. ,__._, 

uyt Aueuttill i.CtM. FtHUt. m. 6), "you wouUI unile the mviRE 
it ihc Triidcr : for 7011 uy ihM the Father dwclb in a iicni ligh 
the power of the Son In the tun, and Hii wndom in the mmn, an 
■he HDlySpint In the *lr." The Manichgun docniDC u lol^ 
niilucc afthe divine uture with Ihe lubiunce of evil, and thewa 
In wbkh Ihat nanue wai released by the " eleci," hu already bee 
pqn ae d nut faee note iii,MC. iS, above). The panafHin andmoDi 
ibo, ta Bccompiiihbw thu releaK. a alluded lu In hii Z*i jMn 
tUmkh. "TEbpanofOwl.-'hesaysfc. aiavi.), "isdailvbe^ 




"^i^hSGl^l 



rahip." The unwaa called Oirttt, and Kit 
ifdin(1)> we And AueuHin, after sllu.liiig lo 

•et upon tplriiuaf and inlellgcnul good inMcad of 



fav quota* 

thelolknrl 



iolknrlnf. In^ Stpfy lo Fd-ttMi 



u la, but adnfl. Nexi, while every one leet (hat the tun it mind, 
which h Ibt Ibrai correaponding (Tom ht perleetion to hh tmitloh 
man* the heavenly bodis, you maintain that he n triangular Tper. 
hapab •UnBion toihe early ^mbol of the Trinity]; Ihat ii, that 
^ li^t ibbiea on the canh throUEh a iHangularwindow In heaven. 
Hence U la that you bend and bow your heads to "'' 






— whether, on comparing these things with the 
calculations I had read elsewhere, the explana- 
tions contained in the works of Manichseus were 
preferable, or at any rate equally sound ? But 
when I proposed that these subjects should be 
deliberated upon and reasoned out, he very 
modestly did not dare to endure the burden. 
For he was aware that he had no knowledge of 
these things, and was not ashamed to confess it. 

j For he was not one of those loquacious persons, 

j many of whom I had been troubled with, who 

< covenanted to teach me these things, and said 
nothing ; but this man possessed a heart, which, 
(hough not right towards Thee, yet was not alto- 
gether false towards himself. For he was not 

! altogether ignorant of his own ignorance, nor 
would he without due consideration be inveigled 
in a controversy, from which he couid neither 

I draw back nor extricate himself fairly. And 
for that I was even more pleased with him, for 

I more beautiful is the modesty of an ingenuous 
mind than the acquisition of the knowledge I 
desired, — and such I found him to be in all the 

' more abstruse and subtle questions. 

I 13. My eagerness after the writings of Mani- 
chzeus having thus received a check, and des- 
pairing even more of their other teachere, — 
seeing that in sundry things which puzzled me, 
he, so famous amongst them, had thus turned 
out,- — ^I began to occupy myself with him in the 
study of that literature which he also much 
affected, and which I, as Professor of Rhetoric, 
was then engaged in teaching the young Car- 
thaginian students, and in reading with him 
either what he expressed a wish to hear, or I 
deemed suited to his bent of mind. But all my 
endeavours by which I had concluded to im- 
prove in that sect, by acquaintance with that 
man, came completely to an end; not that I 
separated myself altogether from them, but, as 
one who could find nothing better, I determined 
in the meantime upon contenting myself with 
what I had in any way lighted upon, unless, by 
chance, something more desirable should pre- 
sent itself. Thus that Faustus, who had en- 
trapped so many to their death, — neither willing 
nor witting it, — now began to loosen the snare 
in which I had been taken. For Thy hands, O 
my God, in the hidden design of Thy Provi- 
dence, did not desert my soui ; and out of the 
blood of my mother's heart, through the tears 
that she poured out by day and by night, was a 
sacrifice offered unto Thee for me ; and by mar- 
vellous ways didst Thou deal with me.' It was 
Thou, O my God, who didst it, for the steps of 
a man are ordered by the Lord, and He shall dis- 
pose his way.' Or how can we procure salvation 
but fromThy hand, remaking what it hath made? 

» 1 "ii^^~ 



84 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book V. 




CHAP. vni. — HE SETS OUT FOR ROME, HIS MOTHER going thither, Thou, O God, knewest, yet te- 

iN VAIN LAMENTING IT. veoledst it not, either to me or to my mother, 

14. Thou dealcdst with me, therefore, that I who grievously laniented my journey, and went 
should be persuaded to go to Rome, and teach *{,'*> ™^ **.<^^ ^.^^^^ ^. 5"' ^ ^^'"^ }*^' 
there rather what I was then teacl 
thage. And how I was persuaded 

will not fail to confess unto Thee ; for in this ^-i . . . r 11 • . . ..1 

also the profoundest workings of Thy wisdom, T'^Tr '.^'^ ^^ ^ favourable wind to set sail 

and Thy ever present mercy to usward, must b^ ^""^l ^'^^ '° "y mother-and such a mother! 

pondered and avowed. It was not my desire to -and got away For this also Thou hast in 

go to Rome because greater advantages and mercy pardoned me, savmg me. thus replete 

dignities were guarant^d me by the friends *'*•» abommable pollutions from the waters of 

who persuaded me into this,-although even at ^^ ^' ^^^ *^ '*"'^^\ ^^ J^y grace, whereby. 

this period I was influenced by these considera- ''^^JJ \ *'^ P""fi*^,: *5''- IT'^'"^ u^'u ?^ 
tions,— but my principal and almost sole motive "'O*^'' s eyes should be dried from which for 

was, that I had been informed that the youths J"*^ f^ <^y \ ^^ *f ^^^^^ *^ «y°'"?<* .""<*« 

studied more quietly there, and were kept under ^^"^ ^^"^ A°^ 5;^'' ''^/"'""^ '° go back without 

by the control of more rigid discipline, so that •"<•'; " V^ with difficulty I persuaded her to le- 

• they did not capriciously and impudently rush "?=?'" ^^^ "Ig^^' '" "^ P'^^^^ <!";'? ^1°^ ^ <"? 

into the school of a master not their own, into ship, where there was an oratory* in memory of 

whose presence they were forbidden to enter f''^ ^"^^ <-yP"^v ^''at night I secretly 

unless with his consent. At Carthage, on the 1^^' V"' she^vas not backward in prayers smd 

contrary, there was amongst the scholars a seeping And what was it, O Lord, that she. 

shameful and intemperate license. They burst ^Jl'*'^ ^uch an abundance of tears, was asking of 

in rudely, and, with almost furious gesticula- ^\^l^ ^"^ ^'}?' 1^°" wouldest not permit me to 

tions, interrupt the system which any one may f •?. »»^ l*'""' mysteriously counselling and 

have instituted for the good of his pupils. h*^^""g the real purpose of her desire, granted 

Many outrages they perpetrate with astounding ""' ^^'jf' "''^ t'^^" ""f:^^ ' V'"^^- !? ?J^* "5 

phlegm, which would be punishable by law were *^*' ^^^ ^^^^x asking Die wind blew and 

they not sustained by custom; that custom show- fiU'^d.our sails, and withdrew the shore from 

ing them to be the more worthless, in that they «"' ^'g*^' > ^"^ she, wild with grief, w^ there 

now do, as according to law, what by Thy un- o" ^"^^ morrow, and filled Thine ^ with com- 

changeable law will never be lawful. And they plamts and groans, which 1 hou didst disregard; 

fimcy they do it with impunity, whereas the very J^h'lst, by the means of my longing. Thou wert 

blindness whereby they do it is their punishment, fastening me on to the cessation of all longing, 

and they suffer far greater things than they do. ^"4 '^^^ ^""^ PF^o^ K '°7^ '° "^ ^ 

The manners, thenf which as a student I would ^^'^'PP^ °"' ^J ""^^ Jf ' 'f •» of «'"^*- ^ut, 

not adopt,' I was compelled as a teacher to sub- ''Hf *" mothers -though even more than 

mit to from others; and so I was too glad to go others,— she ^oy^^d to have me with hsx, and 

where all who knew anything about it assured ^^* not what joy Thou wert preparing for her 

me that similar things were not done. But ^X ""X ^\^^cft. Being ignorant of this, she 

Thou, " my refuge and my portion in the land ^y^ weep and mourn, and in her agony was s^ 

of the living,"' didst while at Carthage goad the mheritance of Eve,— seeking in sorrow what 

me, so that I might thereby be withdrawn from '" ''0'^°* .«'"= ^^ L'^"^*'^ '°'■'^• ^^ ^^'^ 
it, and exchange my worldly habitation for the after accusing my perfidy and cruelty, she a»un 
preservation of my soul; whilst at Rome Thou <^ontinued her intercessions for me with Thee, 
didst offer me enticements by which. to attract ^turned to her accustomed place, and I to 
me there, by men enchanted with this dying ■'^ome. 
life, — the one doing insane actions, and the 
other making assurances of vain things; and, 
in order to correct my footsteps, didst secretly 
employ their and my perversity. For both 16. And behold, there was I received by the 
they who disturbed my tranquillity were blinded scourge of bodily sickness, and 1 was descend- 
by a shameful madness, and they who allured | ing into hell burdened with all the sins that' I 
me elsewhere smacked of the earth. And I, had committed, both against Thee, myself, and 
who hated real misery here, sought fictitious others, many and grievous, over and above that 
h:q)piness there. j bond of original sin whereby we all die in 

15. But the cause of my going thence and Adam.* For none of these things hadst Thou 



CHAP. IX.- 



BEING ATTACKED BY FEVER, HE IS IN 
GREAT DANGER. 



1 See iiii. sec. 6, note, above. 
> Ps. cxlii. 5. 



* See vi. sec. a, note, below. 

* I Cur. XV. 99. 



Chap. X.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



85 



forgiven me in Christ, neither had He "abol- 
ished " by His cross ** the enmity ** ^ which, by 
my sins, I had incurred with Thee. For how 
could He, by the crucifixion of a phantasm,^ 
which I supposed Him to be ? As true, then, 
was the death of my soul, as that of His flesh 
appeared to me to be untrue ; and as true the 
death of His flesh as the life of my soul, which 
believed it not, was false. The fever increas- 
ing, I was now passing away and perishing. 
For had I then gone hence, whither should I 
have gone but into the fiery torments meet 'for 
my misdeeds, in the truth of Thy ordinance ? 
She was ignorant of this, yet, while absent, 
prayed forme. But Thou, everywhere present, 
hearkened to her where she was, and hadst pity 
upon me where I was, that I should regain my 
bodily health, although still frenzied in my sac- 
rilegious heart. For all that peril did not make 
me wish to be baptized, and I was better when, 
as a lad, I entreated it of my mother's piety, as 
1 have already related and confessed.' But I 
had grown up to my own dishonour, and all the 
purposes of Thy medicine I madly derided,* 
who wouldst not suffer me, though such a one, 
to die a double death. Had my mother's heart 
been smitten with this wound, it never could 
have been cured. For I cannot sufficiently ex- 
press the love she had for me, nor how she now 
travailed for me in the spirit with a far keener 
anguish than when she bore me in the flesh. 

17. I cannot conceive, therefore, how she 
could have been healed if such a death of mine 
had transfixed the bowels of her love. Where 
then would have been her so earnest, frequent, 
and unintermitted prayers to Thee alone? But 
couldst Thou, most merciful God, despise the 
'* contrite and humble heart " ' of that pure and 
prudent widow, so constant in alms-deeds, so 
gracious and attentive to Thy saints, not per- 
mitting one day to pass without oblation at Thy 
altar, twice a day, at morning and even-tide, 
coming to Thy church without intermission — 
not for vain gossiping, nor old wives' *' fables,"* 

' ]^ph> u- i^f *od Col. i. 20, etc. 

* Tne Mamchaean belief in regard to the unreal nature of Christ's 
body may be gathered from Augustin'.s /f<//y f^ Faustus: " You 
ask," argues Faustus (xxvi. i.), " if Jesus was not born, how did 
He die? ... In return I a.sk you, how did Elias not die. though 
he was a man? Could a mortal encroach upon the limits of immor- 
tality, and couki not Christ add to His immortality whatever expe- 
rience of death was required? . . . Accordingly, if it is a good 
argument that Jesus was a man becau.se He died, it is an equally 
good argument that Elias was not a man because he did not die. 
. . . As, from the outset of His taking the likeness of man. He 
undenrent in appearance all the experiences of humanity, it was 
quite consi5Ment that He should complete the system by appearing 
to ^ie." So that with him the whole life of Jesus was a "phan- 
tasm." Hb birth, circumcision, crucifixion, baptism, and tempta- 
doii were {i^tW. xxxii. 7) the mere result of the interpolation of 
cnSty men, or sprung from the ignorance of the apostles, when as 
yet they bad not reached perfection in knowledge. It is noticeable 
that Ai^gustin, referring to Eph. ii. 15, substitutes His cross for His 
flesh, he, as a Maniduean, not believing in the real humanity of 
the Son of God. See iii. sec. 9, note, ab^ve. 

* See i. sec. xo, above. 

* See also iv. sec. 8, above, where he derides his friend's baptism. 
» P». K. 19. 

* X Tim. V. xo. 



but in order that she might listen to Thee in 
Thy sermons, and Thou to her in her prayers?' 
Couldst Thou — ^Thou by whose gift she was such 
— despise and disregard without succouring the 
tears of such a one, wherewith she entreated 
Thee not for gold or silver, nor for any chang- 
ing or fleeting good, but for the salvation of 
the soul of her son ? By no means, Lord. 
Assuredly Thou wert near, and wert hearing 
and doing in that method in which Thou hadst 
predetermined that it should be done. Far be 
it from Thee that Thou shouldst delude her in 
those visions and the answers she had from 
Thee, — some of which I have spoken of," and 
others not,' — ^which she kept*° in her faithful 
breast, and, always petitioning, pressed upon 
Thee as Thine autograph. For Thou, **becaxise 
Thy mercy endureth for ever," " condescendest 
to those whose debts Thou hast pardoned, to 
become likewise a debtor by Thy promises. 

CHAP. X. — WHEN HE HAD LEFT THE MANICHiB-' 
ANS, HE RETAINED HIS DEPRAVED OPINIONS 
CONCERNING SIN AND THE ORIGIN OF THE 
SAVIOUR. 

18. Thou restoredst me then from that ill- 
ness, and made sound the son of Thy hand- 
maid meanwhile in body, that he might live 
for Thee, to endow him with a higher and 

T Watts gives the following note here : — " Oblations were those 
offerings of bread, meal, or wine, for making of the Eucharist, or of 
alms besides for tne poor, which the primitive Christians every time 
they communicated Drought to the church, where it was received 
by the deacons, who presented them to the priest or bishop. Here 
note : (i) They communicated daily; (2) they had ser\'ice morning 
and evening, and two sermons a day many times," etc. An inter- 
esting trace of an old use in this matter of oblations is found in the 
Queen's Coronation Service. After other oblations had been 
offered, the Queen knelt before the Archbishop and presented to 
him "oblations" of bread and wine /or the Holy Communion. 
See also Palmer's Origines Liturgicce^ iv. 8, who demonstrates by 
reference to patristic writers that the custom was universal in the 
primitive Church : — " But though all the churches of the East and 
West agreed in this respect, they differed in appointing the time 
and place at which the oblations of the people were received." It 
would appear from the following account of early Christian wor- 
ship, that in the time of Justin Martyr the oblations were collected 
after the reception of the Lord's Supper. In his First Apology we 
read (c. Ixvii.) : " On the day called Sunday [ tow ^Ai'ow Acyo/icrn 
y\\t.ipa\ all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one 
place", and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the pro- 
phets are read, as long as time permits them. When the readef 
has ceased, the president [o irpoearw?") verbally instructs, and ex- 
horts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise 
together and pray Fevx'*^ ireM»ro/iev], and, as we before said, i^hen 
our prayer is endea. bread and wine and water arc brought, and 
the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings 
according to his ability [Kaye renders (p. 89) tv\a^ onoiias koI 
ti/xapicrriaK, o<rij 6vvafm ovry, ayavifivti , "with his 
utmost power"], and the people assent, saying Amen; and there 
is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which 
thanks had been given, and to those who are absent a portion is 
sent by the deacons. And they who are well-to-do, and willing, 
give what each thinks fit ; and what is collected [to (rvAAcyd^cKovJ 
is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and wid- 
ows, and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in w^ant, 
and those who are in bon^, and the stranger sojourning among us, 
and, in a word, takes care of all who arc in need." The wliole 
passage is given, as portions of it will be found to h^vc a bearing 
on other parts of the Confessions. ^ Bishop KsLye'^ Justin Martyr, 
c. iv., may be referred to for his view of the controverted points in 
the passage. See also Bingham's Antiquities, ii. a-9 ; and notes 
to VI. sec. 2, and ix. sees. 6 and 37, below. 

* See above, iii. xi, la. 

• Ibid. iii. 12. 
10 Luke ii. 19. 
U Ps. cxviii. X. 



86 



THE CONFESSIONS OE 



more enduring health. • And even then at Rome 
I joined those deluding and deluded ** saints;** 
not their ** hearers'* only, — of the number of 
whom was he in whose house I had fallen ill, 
and had recovered, — but those also whom they 
designate '*The Elect.'* ^ For it still seemed 
to me " that it was not we that sin, but that I 
know not what other nature sinned in us."' 
And it gratified my pride to be free from blame, 
and, after I had committed any fault, not to 
acknowledge that I had done any, — *' that Thou 
mightest heal my soul because it had sinned 
against Thee;**' but I loved to excuse it, and 
to accuse something else (I wot not what) which 
was with me, but was not I. But assuredly it 
was wholly I, and my impiety had divided me 
against myself; and that sin was all the more 
incurable in that I did not deem myself a sin- 
ner. And execrable iniquity it was, O God 
omnipotent, that I would rather have Thee to 
be overcome in me to my destruction, than 
myself of Thee to salvation ! Not yet, there- 
fore, hadst Thou set a watch before my mouth, 
and kept the door of my lips, that my heart 
might not incline to wicked speeches, to make 
excuses of sins, with men that work iniquity* 
— and, therefore, was I still united with their 
"Elect.** 

19. But now, hopeless of making proficiency 
in that false doctrine, even those things with 
^ which 1 had decided upon contenting myself, 
providing that I could find nothing better, 1 
now held more loosely and negligently. For 1 
was half inclined to belieye that those philoso- 
phers whom they call ** Academics " * were more 




AUGUSTIN. 



[Book V. 



V 



1 See iv. sec. i, note, above. 

* iv. »ec. 26, note 2. above. 
» Ps. xli. 4. 

* Ps. cxli. J, 4, Old I'ers. See also Aujijiistin's Commrntary on 
the Pialms, where, using hi.s Scptuagint version, he applies this 
pas.<iagc to the Manicha:ans. 

* "Amongst tljcse philosophers," if. those who have founded their 
systems on denial, "si>mc are satisfied with denying certaint>', ad- 
mitting at the same time probability', and these arc the New Aca- 
demics ; the others, who are the I*yrrhonists, liavc deniei! even this 
probability, auvl have maintained that all things are equally certain 
and uncertain " {Fort. Roy. Log. iv. 1). There arc, according to 
the usual divisions, three Academies, the old, the middle, and the 
new : and some subdivide the middle and the new each into two 
schools, making (\\^ schools of thought in all. These begin with 
Plato, the f(nmdcr (387 B.C.), and continue to the fifth school, 
founded by Aniiochus (8t B.C.), who, by combining his teachings 
with that of Aristotle and Zeno, prepared the way tor Nco-Platon- 
ism and its development of the dogmatic side of Plato's teaching. 
In the second Academic school, founded by Arcesilas, — of whom 
Aristo, the Stoic, panulying the line in the Iliad {s\. 181), Hpoa^e 
kivtv^ 6irt06i' 6^ jpaxui', (i(T<ru 6k x^M^iptti said sarcastically he 
was " IMatfi in front, Pyrrhu l>ehind, and Diodorus in the middle," 
— the •• sceptical" tendency in Plaionism began to devclopc itself, 
which, under Carneadcs, was expanded into the doctrine of the 
third Academic school. Arcesilas had been a pupil of Polemo 
when he was head of the old Academy. Zeno also, dissatisfied 
with the cynical philosophy of Crates, had learnt Platonic doctrine 
from Polemo, and was, as Cicero tells us (/V /■». iv. lO), grc.vtly 
influenced by his teaching. Zeno. however, soon foimdcd his own 
school «if Stoical philosopny, which was violently opposed by Arce- 
silas (Cicero, Acad. Poit. i. 12). Arcesilas, according to Cicero 
(i6id.), taught his pupils that we cannot know anything, not even 
that wc are unable to know. It is exceedingly probable, however, 
that he taught c*otcrically the doctrines of rlato to those of his 
pupils he thought able to receive them, keeping them back fn>m the 
multitude bccau.se of the prevalence of the new doctrine. This ap- 
pears to have been Augustin's view when he had arrived at a fuller 



sagacious than the rest, in that they held that 
we ought to doubt everything, and ruled that 
man had not the power of comprehending any 
truth ; for so, not yet realizing their meaning, 
1 also was fully persuaded that diey thought just 
as they are commonly held to do. And I did 
not £ail frankly to restrain in my host that as- 
surance which I observed him to have in those 
fictions of which the works of Manichseus are 
full. Notwithstanding, I was on terms of more 
intimate friendship with them than with others 
who were not of this heresy. Nor did I defend 
it with my former ardour ; still my familiarity 
with that sect (many of them being concealed 
in Rome) made me slower* to seek any other 
way, — particularly since I was hopeless of find- 
ing the truth, from which in Thy Church, 
Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of all things 
visible and invisible, they had turned me aside, 
— and it seemed to me most unbecoming to 
believe Thee to have the form of human flesh, 
and to be bounded by the bodily lineaments of 
our members. And because, when I desired to 
meditate on my God, I knew not what to think 
of but a mass of bodies^ (for what was not such 
did not seem to me to be), this was the greatest 
and almost sole cause of my inevitable error. 

20. For hence I also believed evil to be a 
similar sort of substance, and to be possessed 
of its own foul and missha|)en mass — ^whether 
dense^ which they denominated earth, or thin 
and subtle, as is the body of the air, which they 
fancy some malignant sj)irit crawling through 
that earth. And because a piety — such as it 
was — comi)elled me to believe that the good 
God never created any evil nature, I conceived 
two masses, the one opjxjsed to the other, both 
infinite, but the evil the more contracted, the 
good the more expansive. And from this mis- 
chievous commencement the other profanities 
tbllowcd on me. For when my mind tried to 
revert to the Catholic faith, I was cast back, 
since what I had held to be the Catholic faith 
was not so. And it apj)eared to me more de- 



knowledge of their doctrines than that he possessed at the time re- 
ferred to in his Ctnt/essioHs. In his treatises against the Academic* I 
ians (iii. 17) he maintains the >%isdoni of Arcesilas in this matter. 
He says : "As the multitude are prone to nish into false opinioiu, 
an<l, from being accustomed to bcKiies, readily, but to their hurt, 
believe everything to be corporeal, this most acute and learned man 
determined rather to untcach those who had suffered from badteadl- 
ing, than to teach those whom he did not think teachable." Aipiia. 
in the first of his iMters, alluding to these treatises, he says : " It 
seems to me to be suitable enough to the times in which they flour 
ished, that whatever issued pure from the fountain-head of Flotonlc 
philosophy should be rather conducted into dark and thorny thickctt 
for the rcfre.shment of a very few turn, than leli to flow in open 
meadow-land, where it would be impossible to keep it clear and pure 
from the inroads of the vulgar hercl, 1 use the word * herd' advis- 
eilv, for what is more brutisli than the opiiiicm that the soul is mate- 
rial? " and more to the same purpose. In his De Ct7'. fyei^ xix. 18, 
he contrasts the uncertainty ascribed to the doctrines of these leaclien 
with the certainty of the Christian faith. See Ihirton's Batnpitm 
Lectures, note 73, and Archer lUiilor's Aucient I'hiloso/ky, ii. 3x3, 
348, etc. See also vii. sec. 13, note, below. 

* See iii. sec. 21, above. 

7 See iv. sees. 3, 12, and 31, above. 



Chap. XIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



87 



vout to look upon Thee, my God, — to whom I 
make confession of Thy mercies, — as infinite, at 
least, on other sides, although on that side where 
the mass of evil was in opposition to Thee' I 
was compelled to confess ihee finite, that if on 
every side I should conceive Thee to be confined 
by the form of a human body. And better did 
it seem to me to beliewe that no evil had been 
created by Thee — which to me in my ignorance 
appeared not only some substance, but a bodily 
one, because I had no conception of the mind 
excepting as a subtle body, and that diffused in 
local spaces — than to believe that anything could 
emanate from Thee of such a kind as I consid- 
ered the nature of evil to be. And our very 
Saviour Himself, also. Thine only-begotten,* I 
believed to have been reached forth, as it were, 
for our salvation out of the lump of Thy most 
effulgent mass, so as to believe nothing of Him 
but what I was able to imagine in my vanity. 
Such a nature, then, I thought could not be 
bom of the Virgin Mary without being mingled 
with the flesh ; and how that which I had thus 
figured to myself could be mingled without 
being contaminated, I saw not. I was afraid, 
therefore, to believe Him to be born in the flesh, 
lest I should be compelled to believe Him con- 
taminated by the flesh.' Now will Thy spiritual 
ones blandly and lovingly smile at me if Ihey 
shall read these my confessions ; yet such was I. 

CHAP. XI. HELPIDIUS DrsPUTED WELL AOAINST 

THE MANICH«ANS AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY 
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

ai. Furthermore, whatever they had cen- 
sured* in Thy Scriptures 1 thought impossible 
to be defended; and yet sometimes, indeed, I 
desired to confer on these several points with 
some one well learned in those books, and to 
try what he thought of them. For at this time 
the words of one Helpidius, speaking and dis- 
puting face to face against the said Manichxans, 
had begun to move me even at Carthage, in that 
he brought forth things from the Scriptures not 
easily withstood, to which their answer appeared 
to me feeble. And this answer they did not 
give forth publicly, but only to us in private, 
— when they said that the writings of the New 
Testament had been tampered with by I know 



not whom, who were desirous of ingrafting the 
Jewish law upon the Christian faith;' but they 
themselves did not bring forward any uncor- 
rupted copies.' But I, thinking of corporeal 
things, very much ensnared and in a. measure 
stifled, was oppressed by those masses;' pant- 
ing under which for the breath of Thy Truth, 
I was not able to breathe it pure and undeliled. 



22. Then began I assiduously to practise that 
for which I came to Rome — the teaching of 
rhetoric ; and first to bring together at ray 
home some to whom, and through whom, I 
had begun to be known ; when, behold, I 
learnt that other offences were committed in 
Rome which I had not to bear in Africa. For 
those subvertings by abandoned young men were 
not practised here, as I had been informed ; yet, 
suddenly, said they, to evade paying their mas- 
ter's fees, many of the youths conspire together, 
and remove themselves to another,- — breakers 
of faith, who, for the love of money, set a 
small value on justice. These also my heart 
" hated," though not with a " perfect hatred;"* 
for, perhaps, I hated them more in that I was to 
suffer by them, than for the illicit acts they com- 
mitted. Such of a truth are base persons, and 
they are unfaithful to Thee, loving these transi- 
tory mockeries of temporal things, and vile gain, 

.which begrimes the hand that lays hold on it; 
and embracing the fleeting world, and scorning 
Thee, who abidest, and invitest to return, and 
I pardonest the prostituted human soul when it 
retumeth' to Thee. And now 1 hate such 
crooked and perverse men, although I love 
them if they are to be corrected so as to pre- 
fer the learning they obtain to money, and to 
learning Thee, O God, the truth and fulness 
of certain good and most chaste peace. But 
then was the wish stronger in me for my own 
sake not to suffer them evil, than vras the wish 
that they should become good for Thine. 

CHAP. Xlir. — HE IS SENT TO MILAN, THAT HE, 
ABOUT TO TEACH RHETORIC, NUY BE KNOWN 
BY AMBROSE. 

23. When, therefore, they of Milan had sent 



belieT of Ihe MunlchiciD evci led him to coniend 

e » u lo Im difikd™ H^eViiu^Iu'/chanicuiL 

Jtaiat^a Zamjui,'" and >h'"'pr^[^ {Old. 
li. I) irUi luchpuuco SI. Chciilwu" born oFihesEec[ of David 
accordini to Ihe nob" (Rom. i. j), he would fall b>c1tup<Hiwhu 

liculd, then only " spoke u a child'* {i Cor. xiii. ii),but vhen he 



declared, " Tbooib we I 
btnoetbilh know we Him 



isc; 



Auguiiin Ttmiiki (Dr Mrr. Ecc/ft. Cali.ia:. 14), every onccoukl 
tec " thai Ihui bt all chat U left for men to lay when it a proved that 
they are wrone." The ailonuhmcnt that he ekperieiKcd now, that 
they did " not t>rbu[ forwaiij any uncorrupied cupiea," bad (^n hold 
of him, and after Ei» convemion he confronted Ihem on this vera 
ground. " Voo ought to bring forward," he uya l^iSid. tec. 61k 

bein« tpurioul. . . . Vou lay you will not, lest youbenupectedof 
.„ :. TT.:, :. .,^, ^^y, reply ,nda true one." See aim 



i"Xi-^ 



88 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book V. 



to Rome to the prefect of the city, to provide 
them with a teacher of rhetoric for their city, 
and to despatch him at the public expense, I 
made interest through those identical persons, 
drunk with Manichaean vanities, to be freed 
from whom I was going away, — neither of us, 
however, being aware of it, — that Symmachus, 
the then prefect, having proved me by propos- 
ing a subject, would send me. And to Milan 
I came, unto Ambrose the bishop, known to the 
whole world as among the best of men. Thy 
devout servant ; whose eloquent discourse did 
at that time strenuously dispense unto Thy 
people the flour of Thy wheat, the " gladness " 
of Thf ** oil,*' and the sober intoxication of 
Thy "wine.'*^ To him was I unknowingly 
led by Thee, that by him I might knowingly 
be led to Thee. That man of God received 
me like a father, and looked with a benevolent 
and episcopal kindliness on my change of abode. 
And I began to love him, not at first, indeed, 
as a teacher of the truth,— which I entirely de- 
.spaired of in Thy Church, — but as a man friendly 
to myself. And I studiously hearkened to him 
preaching to the people, not with the motive I 
should, but, as it were, trying to discover 
whether his eloquence came up to the fame 
thereof, or flowed fuller or lower than was 
asserted ; and I hung on his words intently, 
but of the matter I was but as a careless and 
contemptuous spectator ; and I was delighted 
with the pleasantness of his speech, more eru- 
dite, yet less cheerful and soothing in manner, 
than that of Faustus. Of the matter, however, 
there could be no comparison ; for the latter 
was straying amid Manichaean deceptions, whilst 
the former was teaching salvation most soundly. 
But "salvation is far from the wicked,*** such 
as I then stood before him ; and yet I was 
drawing nearer gradually and unconsciously. 

piAP. XIV. HAVING HEARD THE BISHOP, HE 

jt PERCEIVES THE FORCE OF THE CATHOLIC 



I 



i FAITH, YET DOUBTS, AFTER THE MANNER OF 



THE MODERN ACADEMICS. 



24. For although I took no trouble to learn 
what he spake, but only to hear how he spake 
(for that empty care alone remained to me, 
despairing of a way accessible for man to Thee), 
yet, together with the words which I prized, 
there came into my mind also the things about 
which I was careless ; for I could not separate 
them. And whilst I oj)ened my heart to admit 
"how skilfully he spake," there also entered 

' Ps. iv. 7, and civ. 15. 
• Ps cxix X55. 



with it, but gradually, "and how truly he 
spake ! * * For first, these things also had begun 
to appear to me to be defensible ; and the Cath- 
olic faith, for which I had fancied nothing could 
be said against the attacks of the Manichaeans, 
I now conceived might be maintained without 
presumption ; especially after I had heard one 
or two parts of the Old Testament explained, 
and often allegorically — which when I accepted 
literally, I was ** killed** spiritually.' Many 
places, then, of those books having been ex- 
pounded to me, I now' blamed my despair in 
having believed that no reply could be made to 
those who hated and derided * the Law and the 
Prophets. Yet I did not then see that for that 
reason the Catholic way was to be held because . 
it had its learned advocates, who could at length, 
ai)d not irrationally, answer objections ; nor that 
what I held ought therefore to be condemned 
because both sides were equally defensible. For 
that way did not appear to me to be vanquished ; 
nor yet did it se^m to me to be victorious. 

25. Hereupon did I earnestly bend my mind 
to see if in any way I could possibly prove the 
Manichaeans guilty of falsehood. Could I have 
realized a spiritual substance, all their strong- 
holds would have been beaten down, and cast 
utterly out of my mind ; but I could not. But 
yet, concerning the body of this world, and the 
whole of nature, which the senses of the flesh 
can attain unto, I, now more and more consid- 
ering and comparing things, judged that the 
greater part of the philosophers held much the 
more probable opinions. So, then, after the i 
manner of the Academics (as they are sup- 



1 



posed),* doubting of everything and fluctuating I 
between all, I decided that the Manichaeans were * 
to be abandoned ; judging that, even while in 
that period of doubt, I could not remain in a 
sect to which I preferred some of the philoso- 
phers ; to which philosophers, however, because 
they were without the saving name of Christ, I 
utterly refused to commit the cure of my faint- 
ing soul. I resolved, therefore, to be a cate- 
chumen* in the Catholic Church, which my 
parents had commended to me, until something 
settled should manifest itself to me whither I 
might steer my course.^ 

* I Cor. xiii. 12, and 2 Cor. iii. 6. Sec vi, sec. 6, note, below. 

^ He frequently alludes to this scofHng spirit, so characteristic of 
these heretics. As an example, he says {in /V. cxlvi. 13) : •* There 
has sprung up a certain accursed sect of the Manichaeans which 
derides the Scriptures it takes and reads. It wishes to censure 
what it docs not understand, and bv disturbing and censuring 
what it understands not, has dcceivea many." See also see, to, 
and iv. sec. 8, above. 

* See above, sec. 19, and note. 

* See vi. sec. 2, note, below. 

7 In his Bfnefit of Bclinnng, Augustin adverts to the above ex- 
periences with a view to the conviction of his friend HoooratuSj who 
was ti^en a Manichxan. 



BOOK VI. 



ATTAINING HIS THIRTIETH YEAR, HE, UNDER THE ADMONITION OF THE DISCOURSES OF AMBROSE, DIS- 
COVERED MORE AND MORE THE TRUTH OF THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, AND DELIBERATES AS TO THE 
BETTER REGULATION OF HIS LIFE. 



CHAP. I. — ^HIS MOTHER HAVING FOLLOWED HIM 
TO MILAN, DECLARES THAT SHE WILL NOT 
DIE BEFORE HER SON SHAU. HAVE EMBRACED 
THE CATHOLIC FAITH. 

I. O Thou, my hope from my youth,^ where 
wert Thou to me, and whither hadst Thou gone ? 
For in truth, hadst Thou not created me, and 
made a difference between me and the beasts of 
the field and fowls of the air ? Thou hadst made 
me wiser than they, yet did I wander about in 
dark and slippery places, and sought Thee 
abroad out of myself, and found not the God 
of my heart ; * and had entered the depths of 
the sea, and distrusted and despaired finding 
out the truth. By this time my mother, made 
strong by her piety, had come to me, following 
me over sea and land, in all perils feeling secure 
in Thee. For in the dangers of the sea she 
comforted the very sailors (to whom the inex- 
perienced passengers, when alarmed, were wont 
rather to go for comfort), assuring them of a 
^fe arrival, because she had been so assured by 
Thee in a vision. She found me in grievous 
danger, through despair of ever finding truth. 
But when I had disclosed to her that I was now 
no longer a Manichaean, though not yet a Cath- 
olic Clmstian, she did not leap for joy as at what 
was unexpected ; although she was now reassured 
as to that part of my misery for which she had 
mourned me as one dead, but who would be 
raised to Thee, carrying me forth upon the bier 
of her thoughts, that Thou mightest say unto 
the widow's son, ** Young man, I say unto Thee, 
arise," and he should revive, and begin to speak, 
and Thou shouldest deliver him to his mother.* 
Her heart, then, was not agitated with any vio- 
lent exultation, when she had heard that to be 
already in so great a part accomplished which 
she daily, with tears, entreated of Thee might 
be done, — that though I had not yet grasped the 
truth, I was rescued from falsehood. Yea, 
rather, for that she was fully confident that 



» Ps. Ixxl 5. 

s See tv. aec. x8, note, above. 

* Luke vii. S2-15. 



Thou, who hadst promised the whole, wouldst 
give the rest, most calmly, and with a breast 
full of confidence, she replied to me, '*She 
believed in Christ, that before she departed 
this life, she would see me a Catholic be- 
liever.'** And thus much said she to me; but 
to Thee, O Fountain of mercies, poured she 
out more frequent prayers and tears, that Thou 
wouldest hasten Thy aid, and enlighten my 
darkness ; and she hurried all the more assidu- 
ously to the church, and hung upon the words 
of Ambrose, praying for the fountain of water 
that springeth up into everlasting life.' For she 
loved that man as an angel of God, because she 
knew that it was by him that I had been 
brought, for the present, to that perplexing 
state of agitation* I was now in, through which 
she was fully persuaded that I should pass from 



* Ftdelem Catholicum — those who are baptized being usually des< 
ignated Fideles. llie following extract from Kaye's TertuUian 
(pp. 230, 231) is worthy of note : — " As the converts from heathen- 
ism, to use Tertullian's expression, were not bom, but became Chris- 
tians [/?««/, non ftascuntur, CAristiant], they went through a 
course of instruction in the principles and doctrines of the gospel, 
and were subjected to a strict probation before they were admittea 
to the rite of baptism. In this stage of their progress they were 
called catechumens, of whom, according to Suicer, there were two 
classes, — one callea ' Audientes,' who had only entered upon their 
course, and begun to hear the word of God ; the other. trvvaiTovvrt^f 
or ' Competentes,' who had made such advances in Cnristian knowl- 
edge and practice as to be qualified to appear at the font. TertuUian. 
however, appears either not to have known or to have neglectecf 
this distinction, since he applies the names of ' Audientes ' and * Au- 
ditores ' indifferently to all who had not partaken of the rite of bafH 
tism. When the catechumens had given full proof of the ripeness 
of their knowledge, and of the stedfastness of tncir faith, they were 
baptized, admitted to the table of the Lord, and styled Fideles. The 
importance which TertuUian attached to this previous probation of 
the candidates for baptism, appears from the fact that he founds 
upon the neglect of it one ol his charges against the heretics. 
'Among them,' he siws, 'no distinction is made between the cate- 
chumen and the faithful or confinned Christiiin : the catechumen is 
pronounced fit for baptism before he is instructed ; all come in indis- 
criminately ; all hear, all pray together.'" There were certain pecu- 
liar forms used in the admission of catechumens ; as, for example, 
anointing with oil, imposition of hands, and the consecration ana 
giving 01 salt; and wnen, from the progress of Christianity, Ter- 
tullian's above description as to converts from heathenism had 
ceased to be correct, tncsc forms were continued in many churches 
as part of the baptismal service, whether of infants or adults. See 
Palmer's Origines Liturgicte, v. i, and also i. sec. 17, above, where 
Augustin says : " I was signed with the sign of the cross, and was 
seasoned with His salt, even from the womb of my mother." 

* John iv. 14. 

* '• Sermons," says Goodwin in his Evangelical Commnnicantt 
" are, for the most part, as showers of rain that water for the in- 
stant ; such as may tickle the ear and warm the aflfections, and put 
the soul into a posture of obedience. Hence it is that men are oft- 
times sermon-sick, as some are sea-sick; very ill, much troubled for 
Che present, but by and by all b well again as they were." 

8% 



90 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VI. 



sickness unto health, after an excess, as it were, 
' of a sharper fit, which doctors term the ** crisis. ' ' 

CHAP. II. — ^SHE, ON THE PROHIBITION OF AM- 
BROSE, ABSTAINS FROM HONOURING THE MEM- 
ORY OF THE MARTYRS. 

2. When, therefore, my mother had at one 
time — as was her custom in Africa — brought to 
the oratories built in the memory of the saints' 
certain cakes, and bread, and wine, and was 
forbidden by the door-keeper, so soon as she 
learnt that it was the bishop who had forbidden 
it, she so piously and obediently acceded to it, 
' that I myself marvelled how readily she could 
bring herself to accuse her own custom, rather 
than question his prohibition. For wine-bibbing 
did not take possession of her spirit, nor did the 
love of wine stimulate her to hatred of the truth, 
as it doth too many, both male and female, who 
naaseate at a song of sobriety, as men well dmnk 
at a draught of water. But she, when she liad 
brought her basket with the festive meats, of 
which she would taste herself first and give the 
rest away, would never allow herself more than 
one little cup of wine, diluted according to her 
own temperate palate, which, out of courtesy, 
she would taste. And if there were many ora- 
tories of departed saints that ought to be hon- 
oured in the same way, she still carried round 



1 That is, as is explained further on in the section, the Martyrs. 
TertuUian gives us many indications of the veneration in which the 
martyrs were held towards the close of the second century. The 
anniversary of the martyr's death was called his natalitium. or 
natal day, as his martyrdom ushered him into eternal life, and oola- 
tiofus pro de/uKctis v/^Tt then offered. (De Exhor. Cast. c. ii; 
De Coro. c, 3). Many extravagant things were said about the glory 
of martyrdom, with the view, doubtless, of preventing apostasy in 
lime of persecution. It was described (/)«' Bap. c, 16; and De Fat. 
c. 13) as a sectmd bapti.sm, and said to secure for a man immediate 
entrance into heaven, and complete enjoyment of its happiness. 
These views developed in Augustin's time into all the wiKlncs* of 
Donatism. Augustin gives us an insight into the customs prevailing 
in his day, and their significance, which greatly illustrates the pres- 
ent section. In his De Civ. Dei, viii. 27, we read : " But, neverthe- 
less, we do not buihl temples, and ordain priests, rites, and sacrifices 
for these same martyrs; for they are not our gods, but their Ciod is 
our(iod. Certainly we honour cheir reliquaries, as the memorials 
of holy men of Ciod, who >trove for the truth even to the death of 
their bodies, that the true religion might l)c made known, and false 
and fictitious rcliiiiions exposed. . . . But who ever heard a priest 
of the faithful, stamling at an altar built for the honour and worship 
of Ood over the holy body of some martyr, say in the prayers, 1 
offer to thee a sacrifice, O Peter, or O Paul, or O Cyprian? For it 
is to ( Jod that sacrifices are offered at their tombs, — the God who 
made them both men and martyrs, and associated them with holy 
angols in celestial honour ; and the reason why we pay such hon- 
ours to their memory is, that by so doing we may both give thanks 
to the true (iod for their victories, and, by recalling them afresh to 
remembrance, may stir ourselves up to imitate them by seeking to 
obtain like crowns and palms, calling to our help that same (rod 
on whom they called. 1 hcrei'ore, whatever honours the religious 
may pay in the places of the martyrs, they are but honours ren- 
dored to their mciuor>' [ornamepUa memoriarum], not sacred rites 
or sacrifices offered to dead men as to gods. And even such ;cs 
bring ihiiher food — which, indeed, is not done by the better Chris- 
tiaas, and in most places of the world is not d(me at all — do so in 
•order that it may be sanctified to them through the merits of the 
martyrs, in the name of the Ixjrdof the martyrs, first presenting the 
foo<l and offering prayer, and thereafter taking it away to be eaten, 
or to be in p.irt bestowed upon the needy. But he who knows the 
one sacrifice of Christians, which is the sacrifice offered in those 
places, also kiiDWs that these are not .«acrifices offered to the mar- 
tyrs." He speaks to the same effect in Book xxii. sec. 10; and in 
his Reply to Faustus (xx. 21), who had charged the Christians with 
imitating the Pagans. " and appeasing the ' shades' of the departed 
with wine and fo^.' See v. sec. 17, note. 



with her the selfsame cup, to be used every- 
where ; and this, which was not only very much 
watered, but was also very tepid with carrying 
about, she would distribute by small sips to those 
around ; for she sought their devotion, not pleas- 
ure. As soon, therefore, as she found this cus- 
tom to be forbidden by that famous preacher 
and most pious prelate, even to those who would 
use it with moderation, lest thereby an occasion 
of excess' might be given to such as were 
drunken, and because these, so to say, festivals 
in honour of the dead were very like unto the 
superstition of the Gentiles, she most willingly 
abstained from it. And in lieu of a basket 
filled with fruits of the earth, she had learned 
to bring to the oratories of the martyrs a heart 
full of more purified petitions, and to give all that 
she could to the poor ; ' that so the communion 
of the Lord's body might be rightly celebrated 
there, where, after the example of His passion, 
the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned. 
But yet it seems to me, O Lord my God, and 
thus my heart thinks of it in thy sight, that my 
mother perhaps would not so easily have given 
way to the relinquishment of this custom had it 
been forbidden by another whom she loved not 
as Ambrose,* whom, out of regard for my salva- 
tion, she loved most dearly ; and he loved her 
truly, on account of her most religious conver- 
sation, whereby, in good works so ** fervent in 
spirit,"* she frequented the church ; so that he 
would often, when he saw me, burst forth into 
her praises, congratulating me that I had such 
a mother — little knowing what a son she had in 
me, who was in doubt as to all these things, 



> Following the example of Ambrose. Augustin used all his in- 
fluence and cKxiuence to correct such shocking abuses in the 
churches. In his letter to Alypius, Bishop of Thagaste (when as 
yet only a pre^^byter assisting the venerable Valerius), he Kives an 
account of nis efforts to overcome them in the church of Hippo. 
The following pa.s.sage is instructive (£>. xxix.9) : — ** I expUined to 
them the circumstances out of which this custom seems to nave nec- 
essarily risen in the Church, namely, that when, in the peace which 
came after such numerous and violent persecutions, crowds ci* 
heathen who wished \o assume the Christian religion were kept 
back, because, having been accustomed to celebrate the leasts 
connected with their worship of idols in revelling and drunkenness, 
they could not easily refrain from pleasures .so hurtful and so hab- 
itual, it had seemed good to our ancestors, making for the time a 
concession to this infirmity, to permit them to celebrate, instead of 
the festivals which they renounced, other feasts in honour of the 
holy 
desiG 



martyrs^ which were observed, not as before with a profisnc 
n, but with similar self-indulgence." 

' See v. sec. 17, note 5, above. 

* On another occasion, when Monica's mind was exercised as to 
non-essentials, Ambrose gave her advice which has perhaps given 
origin to the proverb, " When at Rome, do as Rome docs.' It will 
be found in the letter to Casulanus (£/. xxxvi, 32), and is as fol- 
lovc^s : — " When my mother was with me in that city, I, as bein^ 
only a catechumen, Iclt no cuncem about these questions; but it 
was to her a question causing anxiety, whether she ought, after the 
custom of our own town, to fast on the Saturday, or, after the cus- 
tom of the church of Milan, not to fast. To deliver her from per- 
plexity, i put the question to the man of God whom I have first 
named. He answered, ' What eke can I recommend to others than 
what I do myself? ' When I thought that by this he intended 
simply to prescribe to us that we should take food on Saturdays. — 
for I knew thl<5 to be his own practice, — he, following me, adoed 
these words : * When I am here I do notfa<5t on Saturday, but whed 
1 am at Rome I do ; whatever church you may come to, conform to 
its custom, if you would avoid either receiving or giving offence.' ** 
We find the same incident referred to in Ep. Uv. 3. 

^ Kom. xii. 11. 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



91 



and did not imagine the way of life could be 
found out. 



CHAP. III. AS AMBROSE WAS OCCUPIED WITH 

BUSINESS AND STUDY, AUGUSTiN COULD SEL- 
DOM CONSULT HIM CONCERNING THE HOLY 
SCRIPTURES. 

3. Nor did I now groan in my prayers that 
Thou wotildest help me ; but my mind was 
wholly intent on knowledge, and eager to dis- 
pute. And Ambrose himself I esteemed a. 
happy man, as the world counted happiness, 
in that such great personages held hira in 
honour; only his celibacy appeared to me a 
painful thing. But what hope he cherished, 
what struggles he had against the temptations 
that beset his very excellences, what solace in 
adversities, and what savoury joys Thy bread 
possessed for the hidden mouth of his heart 
when ruminating' on it, 1 could neither con- 
jecture, nor had I experienced. Nor did he 
know my embarrassments, nor the pit of my 
danger. For I could not request of him what 
1 wished as I wished, in that I was debarred 
from hearing and speaking to him by crowds 
of busy people, whose infirmities he devoted 
himself to. With whom when he was not 
engaged (which was but a little time), he either 
was refreshing his body with necessary suste- 
nance, or his mind with reading. But while 
reading, his eyes glanced over the pages, and 
his heart searched out the sense, but his voice 
and tongue were silent. Ofttimes, when we ' 
had come (for no one was forbidden to enter, 
nor was it his custom that the arrival of those 
who came should be announced to him), we saw 
him thus reading to himself, and never other- 
wise ; and, having long sat in silence (for who 
durst interrupt one so intent?), we were fain to ■ 
depart, inferring that in the little time he secured 
for the recruiting of his mind, free from the 
clamour of other men's business, he was un- 
willing to be taken off. And perchance he was 
tearful lest, if the author he studied should ex- 
press aught vaguely, some doubtful and attentive 
hearer should ask him to expound it, or to dis- 
cuss some of the more abstruse questions, as 



1 In hii Rifiy U FaiaUa ( 

tipU.QSLheaiTi>ic..Lntaclu 
i>rb> ombolkally. "No 


"aSl 


econ 


ormaWy »llh Ihii idea. 


iiil«, 




doubt. 




uichewlh^'^i^.w^^ 






hSftf"l'>l^'n«i'«.'™^"" 




men of >'hom thi! aniinal U a 


nnbal in undewi, nm bv lu 
lB«,gln!«y gladly horihe- 


un.bu 


I from 




PTds^of Wltd 




u™ »fto-»r*. For B ™ 








Bniclion from ihe stomach of 






emouihof refltclion. Is 








•ymbol of [hoK people who d 
ilie B»h of th»nnlm>l< io =. 




this. 


And the piohibllion of 








pM»gr of Scrippire (Prov. I 




'^>s 




of iradom, and dKcribB niminatin 




an_^^S^n«™ninalin< 


aiuncLeao: 'A nretiom Iraki 








twi i. foolish mao svallowt i 




!ii 


5of lhi»kind7SA«"ii 


■oni. or in Ihiufpi, ri»e ustf 


1 ai]d 


nt «eici» U fDulligeDI 




iamo 





that, his time being thus occupied, he could not 
turn over as many volumes as he wished ; al- 
though the preservation of his voice, which was 
very easily weakened, might be the truer reason 
for his reading to himself. But whatever wa.s 
his motive in so doing, doubtless in such a man 
was a good one. 

4. But verily no opportunity could I find of 
ascertaining what I desired from that Thy so ' 
holy oracle, his breast, unless the thing might .' 
be entered into briefly. But those surgings in \ 
me required to find him at fiill leisure, that 1 1 
might pour them out to him, but never were \ 
they able to find him so ; and I heard him, 
indeed, every Lord's day, " rightly dividing 
the word of truth "'among the people; and 

I was all the more convinced that all those knots 
of crafty calumnies, which those deceivers of 
ours had knit against the divine books, could 
be unravelled. But so soon as I undetstood, 
withal, that man made "after the im^e of 
Him that created him " * was not so understood 
by Thy spiritual sons (whom of the Catholic * 
mother Thou hadst begotten again through * 
grace), as though they believed and imagined. 
Thee to be bounded by human form, — although" 
what was the nature of a spiritual substance I* 
had not the faintest or dimmest suspicion, — yet 
rejoicing, I blushed (hat for so many years I 
had barked, not against the Catholic faith, but 
against the fables of carnal imaginations. For 
I had been both impious and rash in this, that 
what I ought inquiring to have learnt, I had 
pronounced on condemning. For Thou, O 
most high and most near, most secret, yet most 
present, who hast not limbs some larger some 
smaller, but art wholly everywhere, and nowhere 
in space, nor art Thou of such corporeal form, yet 
iiast Thou created man after Thine own image, 
and, behold, from head to foot is he confined 
by space. 

CHAP. IV. — HE RECOGNISES THE FALSITY OF Hii 
OWN OPINIONS, AND COMMITS TO MEMORY THE| 
SAVING OF AMBROSE. 

5. As, then, I knew not how this image of 
Thine should subsist, I should have knocked 
and propounded the doubt hew it was to be 
believed, and not have insultingly opposed it, 
as if it were believed. Anxiety, therefore, as 
to what to retain as certain, did all the more 
sharply gnaw into my soul, the more shame I 
felt that, having been so long deluded and de- 






And hcreaiier, i 



iving eye. 10 



idording to 



92 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VI. 



ceived by the promise of certainties, I had, with 
puerile error and petulance, prated of so many 
uncertainties as if they were certainties. For 
that they were falsehoods became apparent to 
me afterwards. However, I was certain that 
they were uncertain, and that I had formerly 
held them as certain when with a blind conten- 
tiousness I accused Thy Catholic Church, which 
though I had not yet discovered to teach truly, 
yet not to teach that of which I had so vehe- 
mently accused her. In this manner was I con- 
founded and converted, and I rejoiced, O my 
God, that the one Church, the body of Thine 
only Son (wherein the name of Christ had been 
set upon me when an infant), did not appre- 
ciate these infantile trifles, nor maintained, in her 
sound doctrine, any tenet that would confine 
Thee, the Creator of all, in sjmce — though ever 
so great and wide, yet bounded on all sides by 
the restraints of a human form. 

6. I rejoiced also that the old Scriptures of 
the law and the prophets were laid before me, 
to be perused, not now with that eye to which 
they seemed most absurd before, when I cen- 
sured Thy holy ones for so thinking, whereas 
in truth they thought not so ; and with delight 
■ I heard Ambrose, in his sermons to the people, 
oftentimes most diligently recommend this text 
as a rule, — **The letter killeth, but the Spirit 
giveth life;*'' whilst, drawing aside the mystic 



1 a Cor. iii. 6. The spiritual or allegorical meaning here referred 
to is ons that Augustin constantly sought, as did many of the early 
Fathers, both Greek and Latin. He only employs this method of 
interpretation, however, in a qualified way — never going to the 
Icngttis of Origen or Clement of Alexandria. He does not depreci- 
ate the letter of Scripture, though, as we have shown above (iii. sec. 
14. note), he went as far as he well could in interpreting the history 
spiritually. He does not seem, however, ouite consistent in his 
statements as to the relative prominence to be given to the literal 
and spiritual meanings, as may be seen by a comparison of the lat- 
ter portions of sees, i and 3 of book xvii. of the O'fy 0/ God. His 
general idea may be gathered from the following passage in the 21st 
sec. of book xiii. : — ''Some allegorize all that concerns paradise it- 
self, where the first men, the parents of the human race, are, accord- 
ing to the truth of Holy Scripture, recorded to have l>een ; and 
thejr understand all its trees and fruit-bearinz plants as virtues and 
habits of life, as if they had no existence in tnc external world, but 
were only so spoken of or related for the sake of spiritual meanings. 
As if there could not be a real terrestrial paradise ! As if there 
never existed these two women, Sarah and Hagar, nor the two sons 
who were bom to Abraham, the one of the bond- woman, the other 
of the free, because the apostle says that in them the two covenants 
were prefigured ! or as it water never flowed from the rock when 
Moses struck it, because therein Christ can Ix: seen in a figure, as 
the same apostle says : ' Now that rock was Christ' (i Cor. x. 4). 
. . . These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suita- 
bly put upon paradise without giving oflfencc to any one. while yet 
we oelieve the strict truth 0/ the history ^ confirmed by its circum- 
stantial narrative of facts." The allusion in the above passage to 
5>arah and Hagar invites the remark, that in Galatians iv. 34, the 
words in our version rendered, '* which things are an allegory," 
should be, "which things are such as may be allegonrcd." [ Arii'a 
ivTi-v oAAT^yopou/icva. See Jelf, 398, sec. 2.] it is important to 
note this, as the passage has been quoted in support of the more 
extreme method of allegorizing, though it could clearly go no fur- 
ther than to sanction allegorizing by way of spiritual meditation 
up<m Scripture, and not in the interpretation 01 it — which first, as 
Waterland thinks {\Vorks,so\.\ . p. 311), was the end contem- 
plated by most of the Fathers. Thoughtful students of Scripture 
will feel that we have no right to make historical facts typical or 
allegorical, unless (as in the case of the manna, the brazen serpent, 
Jacob's ladder, etc.) we have divine authority for so doing ; and 
few such will dissent from the opinion of Bishop Marsh (Lecture 
vi.) that the type must not only resemble the antitype, but must 
have been designed to resemble it, and further, that we must have 
the authority of Scripture for the exbtence ot such design. The 



veil, he spiritually laid open that which, accepted 
according to the ** letter," seemed to teach 
perverse doctrines — ^teaching herein nothing 
that offended me, though he taught such things 
as I knew not as yet whether they were true. 
For all this time I restrained my heart from 
assenting to anything, fearing to fall headlong ; 
but by hanging in suspense I was the worse 
killed. For my desire was to be as well 
assured of those things that I saw not, as I was 
that seven and three are ten. For I was not 
insane as to believe that this could not be con^- 
prehended ; but I desired to have other thin) 
as clear as this, whether corporeal things, whici 
were not present to my senses, or spiritual^ 
whereof I knew not how to conceive except 
corporeally. And by believing I might have 
been cured, that so the sight of my soul being 
cleared,* it might in some way be directed 
towards Thy truth, which abideth always, and 
faileth in naught. But as it happens that he 
who has tried a bad physician fears to trust 
himself with a good one, so was it with the 
health of my soul, which could not be heale<l 
but by believing, and, lest it should believ4 
falsehoods, refused to be cured — resisting Thy 
hands, who hast prepared for us the medica- 
ments of faith, and hast applied them to the 
maladies of the whole world, and hast bestowed 
upon them so great authority. 

CHAP. v. — FAITH IS THE BASIS OF HUMAN LIFE; 
MAN CANNOT DISCOVER THAT TRUTH WHICrf 
HOLY SCRIPTURE HAS DISCLOSED. 

7. From this, however, being led to prefer 

the Catholic doctrine, I felt that it was with more 

moderation and honesty that it commanded 

^things to be believed that were not demonstrated 

text, " The letter killeth. but the Spirit giveth life," as a i^nisal of 
the context will show, has nothing whatever to do with'dther 
" literal " or " spiritual " meanings. Augustin himself interprets it 
in one place {De Spir. et Lit. cc. 4, ^) .as meaning the kilting letter 
of the law, as compared with the quickening power of the gospel. 
"An opinion," to conclude with the thoughtful words of Alfred 
Morris on this chapter {IVords /or the He^rt and Li^e, p. 903). 
" once common must tnerefore be rejected. Some still talk ol 
' letter ' and ' spirit ' in a way which has no sanction here. The 
' letter ' with them is the literal meaning of the text, the ' spirit ' k 
its symbolic meaning. And, as the 'spirit* possesses an evident 
superiority to the ' letter,' they fly away into the region of secret 
senses and hidden doctrines, find types where there is nothing typA- 
cal, and allegories where there is nothing allegorical ; make Genesis 
more evangelical than the Epistle to the Romans, and Leviticus 
' than the Epistle to the Hebrews ; mistaking lawful criticism for 
legal Christianity, they look upon the exercise of a sober judgment 
as a proof of a depraved taste, and forget that diseased as well as 
very powerful eyes may see more than others. It is not the obvious 
meaning and the secret meaning that are intended by ' letter* and 
' spirit j' nor any two meanings of Christianity , nor two meaning of 
any thmg or thmgs, but the two ^ystems of Moses and of Chnst." 
Reference may be made on this whole subject of allegorical inter- 
pretation in the writings of the Fathers to Blunt's Right Use qf tke 
Early Fathers, seriej. i. lecture 9. 

> Augustin frequently dilates on this idea. In sermon 88 (cc. 5, 6, 
etc.), he makes the whole of the ministries of religion subservient to 
the clearing of the inner eye of the soul: and in his De Trin. i. 3, 
he says : "And it is necessary to purge our minds, in order to M 
able to see ineflfably that which is inefl^able [/ . e. the Godhead], 
whereto not having yet attained, we are to be nourished by faith, 
and led by such ways as are more suited to our capacity, that we 
may be rendered apt and able to comprehend it." 



HAP. VI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



93 



w^hether it was that they could be demon- 
rated, but not to any one, or could not be 
emonstrated at all), than was the method of 
le Manichseans, where our credulity was 
locked by audacious promise of knowledge, 
nd then so many most fabulous and absurd 
lings were forced upon belief because they 
'ere not capable of demonstration.* After 
lat, O Lord, Thou, by little and little, with 
lost gentle and most merciful hand, drawing 
nd calming my heart, didst persuade me, — 
iking into consideration what a multiplicity of 
lings which I had never seen, nor was present 
hen they were enacted, like so many of the 
lings in secular history, and so many accounts 
f places and cities which I had not seen ; so 
lany of friends, so many of physicians, so many 
ow of these men, now of those, which unless 
e should believe, we should do nothing at all 
1 this life; lastly, with how unalterable an 
surance I believed of what parents I was born, 
hich it would have been impossible for me to 
now otherwise than by hearsay, — taking into 
Dnsideration all this, Thou persuadest me that 
ot they who believed Thy books (which, with 
) great authority, Thou hast established among 
early all nations), but those who believed them 
Dt were to be blamed ; ' and that those men 
ere not to be listened unto who should say to 
le, **How dost thou know that those Script- 
res were imparted unto mankind by the Spirit 
f the one true and most true God?" For 
was the same thing that was most of all to be 
slieved, since no wranglings of blasphemous 
lestions, whereof I had read so many amongst 
le self-contradicting philosophers, could once 



i He similarly exalts the claims of the Christian Church over 
anichaeanism m his R«piy to Faustut (xxxii. 19) : " If you submit 
receive a load of endlcsis fictions at the bidding of an ooscure and 
ational authority, so that you believe all thosethings because they 
e written in the books which your misguided jud^ent pronounces 
Btworthy, though there is no evidence of their truth, why not 
ther submit to the evidence of the gospel, which is so well- 
inded, so confirmed, so generally acknowledged and admired, 
d which has an unbroken series of testimonies from the apostles 
mtk to our own day, that so you may have an intellieent belief, 
id may come to know that all your objections are the miit of folly 
d perversity ? " And again, in his Reply to Manichatus' Funda^ 
ental Epistle (sec. 18), alluding to the credulity required in 
Me who accept Manichsan teaching on the mere authority of the 
acher : " Whoever thouzhtlessly yields this becomes a Manich- 
m, not by knowing undoubted truth, but by believing doubtful 
uements. Such were we when in our inexperienced youth we 
src deceived." 

s He has a like train of thought in another place {De Fide Rer. 
MT non Vid. sec. 4) : ** If, then (harmony being destroyed), human 
dety ttself would not stand if we believe not that we see not, how 
uch more should we have faith in divine things, though we see them 
It; which if we have it not, we do not violate the friendship of a 
w men, but the profoundest religion — so as to have as its conse- 
tence the profoundest misery." Again, referring to belief in 
:ripture, he argues (G?». Faust, xxxiii. 6) that, if we doubt its evi- 
rnce, we may equally doubt that of any book, and asks, " How 
» we know the authorship of the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, 
arro, and other similar writers, but by the unbroken chain of evi- 
mce?" And once more he contends {De Mor. Cath. Eccles. 
cix. 60) that, ** The utter overthrow of all literature will follow, 
id there will be an end to all hooks handed down from the past, if 
liat is supported by such a strong popular belief, and established 
' the uniform testimony of so many men and so many times, is 
ougiit into such suspicion that it is not allowed to have the credit 
id the authority of common history." 



wring the belief from me that Thou art, — ^what- 
soever Thou wert, though what I knew not,— or 
that the government of human affairs belongs 
to Thee. 

8. Thus much I believed, at one time more 
strongly than another, yet did I ever believe 
both that Thou wert, and hadst a care of us, 
although I was ignorant both what was to be 
thought of Thy substance, and what way led, or 
led back to Thee. Seeing, then, that we were! 
too weak by unaided reason to find out thei 
truth, and for this cause needed the authority^ 
of the holy writings, I had now begun to believe- 
that Thou wouldest by no means have given 
such excellency of authority to those Scriptures 
throughout all lands, had it not been Thy will 
thereby to be believed in, and thereby sought. 
For now those things which heretofore appeared 
incongruous to me in the Scripture, and used 
to offend me, having heard divers of them ex- 
pounded reasonably, I referred to the depth of 
the mysteries, and its authority seemed to me 
all the more venerable and worthy of religious 
belief, in that, while it was visible for all to 
read it, it reserved the majesty of its secret* 
within its profound significance, stooping to all 
in the great plainness of its language and lowli- 
ness of its style, yet exercising the application 
of such as are not light of heart ; that it might 
receive all into its common bosom, and through 
narrow passages waft over some few towards 
Thee, yet many more than if it did not stand 
upon such a height of authority, nor allured 
multitudes within its bosom by its holy humil- 
ity. These things T meditated upon, and Thou 
wert with me; I sighed, and Thou heardest 
me ; I vacillated, and Thou didst guide me ; I 
roamed through the broad way* of the world, 
and Thou didst not desert me. 

CHAP. VI. — ON THE SOURCE AND CAUSE OF TRUE 
JOY, — ^THE EXAMPLE OF THE JOYOUS BEGGAR 
BEING ADDUCED. 

9. I longed for honours, gains, wedlock ; 
and Thou mockedst me. In these desires I 
underwent most bitter hardships. Thou being 
the more gracious the less Thou didst suffer 
anything which was not Thou to grow sweet to 
me. Behold my heart, O Lord, who wouldest 
that I should recall all this, and confess unto 
Thee. Now let my soul cleave to Thee, which 
Thou hast freed from that fast-holding bird-lime 
of death. How wretched was it ! And Thou 
didst irritate the feeling of its wound, that, for- 
saking all else, it might be converted unto Thee, 

who art above all, and without whom all things 



would be naught, — ^be converted and be healed. 



> See i. sec. 10, note, above. 
* Matt. vii. 13. 



94 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Bo(« vr. 



How wretched was I at that time, and how didst know it is so, and that the joy of a faithful hope 
Thou deal with me, to make me sensible of my is incomparably beyond such vanity. Yea, and 
wretchedness on that day wherein I was prepar- at that time was he beyond me, for he truly was 
ing to recite a panegyric on the Emperor,' wherein the happier man ; not only for that he was thor- 
I was to deliver many a lie, and lying was to be oughly steeped in mirth, I torn to pieces with 
applauded by those who knew I lied ; and my cares, but he, by giving good wishes, had gotten 
lieart panted with these cares, and boiled over wine, I, by lying, was following after pride. 
with the feverishness of consuming thoughts. Much to this effect said I then to my dear 
For, while walking along one of the streets of friends, and I often marked in them how it 
Milan, I observed a poor mendicant, — then, I fared with me ; and I found that it went ill 
imagine, with a full belly, — joking and joyous ; with me, and fretted, and doubled that very 
and I sighed, and spake to the friends around ill. And if any prosperity smiled upon me, 
me of the many sorrows resulting from our mad- I loathed to seize it, for almost before I could 
ness, for that by all such exertions of ours, — ^as grasp it it flew away, 
those wherein I then laboured, dragging along, 
: under the spur of desires, the burden of my own chap. vii. — he leads to reformation his 
"- unhappiness, and by dragging increasing it,—; friend alvpius, seized with madness for 
I we yet aimed only to attain that very joyousness the circensian games. 
I which that mendicant had reached before us, „ ^h^^^ ^y^■ ^j^^ ,5^^ jj^g friends 
who, perchance, never would attain it For together, jointly deplored, but chiefly and most 
, what he had obtained through a few begged fa^iiliarly did I discuss them with Alypius and 
l^ence, the same was I scheming for by many a Nebridius, of whom Alypius was bom in the 
i wretched and tortuous turning,— the joy of a ^^^ j^wn as myself, his parents being of the 
■ temporary fehc.ty. For he verily possessed not h- j^^jj ^^^^ tj^^^ ,^„t ^e being younger than 
f-ttue joy, but yet I with these my ambitions j^ p^^ ^^ ^^^ ^t^^ied under me, first, when I 
was seeking one much more untrue. And in truth ^^^^^ j„ ^^^ ^^„ t^^^^ ^„d afterwards at Car- 
he was joyous, I anxious; he free from care, I thale, and esteemed me highly, because I ap- 
foU of alarms. But should any one inquire of ^^^^j ^^ him good and learned ; and I esteemed 
me whether I would rather be merry or fearful, ^-^ f^^ ^j, j^^^j^ ^^^,^ ^f virtue, which, in one 
I would reply, Merry. Again, were I asked ^f ^^ ( ^.^^ sufficiently eminent. But 
whether I would rather be such as he was, or as ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^f Carthaginian customs (amongst 
I myself then w^s, I should elect to be myself, ^^^^^ ^^^^ frivolous spectacles are hotly fol- 
though beset with cares and alarms, but out of 1^^^^) had inveigled him into the madn4 of 
perversity; for was it so in truth? For I ought ^he Circensian games. But while he was mis- 
not to prefer myself to him because I happened ^^^i,, ^^^^ ^|^„j tl^^^ein, I was professing 
to be more learned than he, seeing that I took ^^^j/^c there, and had a public school. M 
: no delight therein, but sought rather to p ea.se j^^ ^jj^ ^^j i^^ ear to my teaching, on ac- 
men by it ; and that not to instruct, but only to ^^^^^j ^j- ^^^ m-keVmg that had arisen between 
please. Wherefore also didst Ihou break my ^e and his father.. I had then found how fatally 
bones with the rod of Thy correction.* ^^ ^j^^^^ ^^^ ^- ^^ ^^ ^^ , -^^^ 

•' 10. Away with those, then, from my soul, who ^1,^^ ^e seemed likely— if, indeed, he had not 

say unto It, "It makes a difference from whence ^^^^^, ^^^^ so— to cast away his so great 

a man s joy is derived. That mendicant re- .^^^i^^ yet had I no means of advising, or 

joiced in drunkenness ; thou longedst to rejoice I ^ ^^^ of restraint reclaiming him, either by 

in glory. What glory, O Lord? That which ^^ kindness of a friend or by the authority of 

IS not m Thee. For even as his was no true ^ master. For I imagined that his sentiments 

joy, so was mine no .true glory ;• and it sub- ^^^^^^^ me were the same as his father's ; but 

verted my soul more. He would digest his ^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^j, Disregarding, therefore, his 

drunkenness that same night, but many a night ^^^^^.^ ^.^ j„ ^^^^ ^^^ ^e commenced to 

had 1 slept with mme, and rusen again with it, ^j^j^ ^^^ ^^^^ into lecture-room, 

and was to sleep again and again to rise with it, ^^ ^^^^^^ f^^ ^ jjttje and depart, 

rknow not how oft. It does indeed "make a ,2. Rut it slipped my memory to deal with 

differe nce whence a ma n s joy is derived. ^ 1 ^.^^^ ^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^hi)uld not, through a blind and 

" . In the Benedictine edition it is suK^ted'thai'this was pmbaMy head-strong dcsire of emuty pastimes, undo so 

Valentinian the younger, whose court was, according to Possidius great a wit. But 1 hoU, O Lord, who gOVemCSt 

(c, i.), at Milan when Augustin was professor of rhetoric there, who Pv 1 i r ^11 T*!.^. U^,.* .,«^««.^^ U^^^4. ^^t. 

writci(C^«. /.///. /'^///.Ti. 25) that he in that city recited a pane- the helm of all Thou hast crcatcd, hadst not 

gyric to Bauto the consul, on the first of January, according to the forOTOtten him, who WaS One day tO be amOnffSt 

requirements of his profession of rhctonc. _„ ^ » t* • t . r riM 5' m 

aprov. xxii. 15. Thy sons, the President of Ihy sacrament;* 

* Here, as elsewhere, we have the feeling which finds its cxpres- '__ _ 

ston in i. »cc. i, above : " Thou ha.st formed as for Thyself, and our 

hearts are rc*tlcss till ihcy find rest in Thee." * Compare v. sec. 17, note, above, and sec. 15, note, below. 



Chap. VIII.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 95 

and that his amendment might plainly be at- feigned. It was, however, a senseless and 
tributed to Thyself, Thou broughtest it about seducing continency, ensnaring precious souls, 
through me, but I knowing nothing of it. For not able as yet to reach 'the height of virtue, 
one day, when I was sitting in my accustomed and easily beguiled with the veneer of what was 
place, with my scholars before me, he came in, but a shadowy and feigned virtue, 
saluted me, sat himself down, and fixed his at- 
tention on the subject I was then handling. It chap. viii. — ^the same when at rome, being 
so happened that I had a passage in hand, which led by others into the amphitheatre, is 
while 1 was explaining, a simile borrowed from delighted with the gladiatorial games. 
the Circensian games^ occurred to me, as likely ^ „^^ relinquishing that worldly way 
to make what I wished to convey pleasanter and ^^ich his parents had bewitched him to pursue, 
plainer, imbued with a biting jibe at those whom ^^^ Q^^^ ^^ ^^ ^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^ 
that madness had enthralled. Thou knowest, ^^^^^ j^^ ^^ ^^^-^^ ^^ ^^ extraordinary 
O our God that I had no thought at that time ^^^^^^ ^.^^ ^^ incredible eagerness after the 
of curing Alypius of that plague. But he took i^diatorial shows. For, being utterly opposed 
It to himself, and thought that I would not have f^ ^^^ detesting such spectacles, he was one day 
said It but for his sake. And what any other ^^^ ^ chance by diveiTof his acquaintance and 
man would have made a ground of offence feUow-students returning from dinner, and they 
against me, this worthy young man took as a ^-^j^ a friendly violence drew him, vehemently 
reason for being offended at himself, and for objecting and resisting, into the amphitheatre, 
loving me more fervently. For Thou h^t said J ^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ly shows, he 
It long ago, and written m Thy book, -Rebuke ^^^^^ protesting: -Though you drag my body 
d wise man and he will love thee. ^ But I had ^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^ ^^,^ 1^^^ ^^ ^.^^ 
not rebuked him, but Ihou, who makest use of ^^ ^^ ^^^ ^j^^ ^^ 1^^^ ^^ ^^^ 
all consciously or unconsciously, iii that order ^^^^J ^j^^^ ^j^^U j ^e absent while present, 
which Thyself knowest (and that order is ^^^ ^^ ^j^^^ overcome both you and them." 
right), wroughtest out of my heart and tongue They hearing this, dragged him on nevertheless, 
burning coals by which Thou mightest set on desirous, pefchance, to see whether he could do 
fire and cure the hopeful mind thus languishing. ^ ^^ ^•^'^ yy^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^-^^^ ^^-^^^^^ ^^ 
Let him be silent m Thy praises who meditates j^^ ^^^^ ^^^-^ places as they could, the whole 
not on Thy mercies which from my inmost . ^^ ^^^^ excited with the inhuman sports, 
parts confess unto Thee. For he upon that g^^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^y^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^ f^^. 
speech rushed out from that so deep pit, wherein ^^^ ^-^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ 1^^.. 
he was wilfully plunged, and was bhnded by its ^^ ^^^ ^^^1^ ^^^^ j^^ j^^ ^^^^ ^-^ ^^^ ^^^ j 
miserable pastimes; and he roused his mind with ^ ^^^ ^^jl ^^ ^^^ -^ ^^^ ^^ ^ ^-^^ 
a resolute moderation; whereupon all the filth ^ry from the whole audience stirring him strong- 

of the Circensian pastimes* flew off from him, ,' . nv^rrnmP hv mnncifv. and r^rPnArpH %, 



and he did not approach them further. Upon 



ly, he, overcome by curiosity, and prepared as 



aim uc uiu iiui dppruacu iiiciu mruicr ^y^n -^ ^^^^ ^^ ^ -^^ ^^^ ^j^^ superior tO it, no mat- 

this, he prevailed with his reluctant father to let ^^^ ^^^ j^ ^^^ ^ ^^^ j^i^ ^^^ ^,^ ^^^^^^ 

him be my pupil. He gave m and consented. ^.^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^ i^ ^-^ 3^^1 ^1^^^, ^j,^ ^^her, 

And Alypius beginning agam to hear me, was ^^^^ ^^ ^^-^^^ ^^ ^^ -^ ^-^ body ;* and 

involved m the same superstition as I was, loving ^ 

in the Manichaeans that ostentation of conti- , ^ . .. ^ ^ 

s L'l-i-ii' J*. 1-j. -.1 _ I believe the gospel ? Perhaps you do not know what is called me 

nency' which he believed to be true and Un- gospel. The gospel is nothing cUe than the preaching and the pre- 

ccpt of Christ. I have part«l with all gold and silver, and have 

Iclt off carrying money in my purse ; content with daily food ; with- 

1 ProT. ix. 8. out anxiety for to-morrow ; ana without solicitude about how I shall 

« The games in the provinces of the empire were on the same be fed, or wherewithal I shall be clothed : and do ycHi ask if I believe 

model as those held in the Circus Maximus at Rome, though not so the gospel ? You see in me the blessings of the gospel (Matt. v. 3-ix) ; 
imposing. This circus was one of those vast works executed by ' and do you ask if I believe the gospel ? You see me poor, meek, a 

TarquiniuB Priscus. Hardly a vestige of it at the present lime re- peacemaker, pure in heart, mourning, hungering, ihirslmg, bearing 

mains, though the Cloaca Maxima, another of his stupendous persecutions and enmity for righteousness sake; and do you doubt 

works, has not, after more than 2500 years, a stone displaced, and my belief in the gospel? " It is difficult to understand that Mani- 

still performs its api>ointed service of draininc; the city of Rome into chacanism can have spread as largely as it did at that Ume, if the 
the Tiber. In the circus were exhibited chariot and foot races, 



tights on horseback, representations oi battles (on which occasion 



asceticism of many amongst them had not been real, it may be 
noted that in his controversy with Fortunatus, Augustin strangely 



camps were pitched in the circus), and the (Jrccian athletic sports j declines to discuss the charges of immorality that had been brought 
introduced alter the conquest of that country. Sec also sec. 13, against the Manichaans: and in the last chapter of his De MffrtMu, 
note below. \ it appears to be indicated that one, if not more, of those wnose evil 

» Augustin, in book v. sec. 9, above, refers to the reputed sanctity deeds are there spoken of had a desire to follow the rule of life laki 
of Manichasus, and it may well be questioned whether the sect de- down by Manichxus. . , 1 u t.m • a 

served that unmitigated reprobation he pours out upon them in his ■♦ The scene of this episode was, doubtless^ the great Flavian Ain- 
Dg Marihtu, and in parts of his controversy with Faustus. Certain phitheatre, known by us at this day as the Colosseum. It stands tn 
it is thai Faustus laid claim, on behalf of his sect, to a very different j the valley between the Ca:lian and Esquiline hills, on the site of a 
moral character to that Augustin would impute to them. He says I lake formerly attached to the palace of Nero. Gibbon, in his graphic 
{Con. FaM4i. v. x) : " Do I believe the gospel? You ask me if I ' way. says of the building {Decline and Fall, i. 355) : •' Posterity ad- 

' ... mires, and will long admire, the awiiil remains of the ainphitheiUre 



believe it, though my obedience to its commands shows that I do 
I should rather ask you if you believe it. since you give no pnxif of 
your belief. I have left my father, mother, wife, and children, and 
all else that the Gospel requires (Matt. xix. 29) ; and do you ask if 



of Titus, which so well deserved the epithet of colossal. It was a 
building of an elliptic figure, five hundred and sixty-four feel in 
length, and four hundred and sixty-seven in breadth, founded on 



96 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VL 



he fell more miserably than he on whose fall 
that mighty clamour was raised, which entered 
through his ears, and unlocked his eyes, to 
make way for the striking and beating down of 
his soul, which was bold rather than valiant 
hitherto ; and so much the weaker in that it 
presumed on itself, which ought to have de- 
pended on Thee. For, directly he saw that 
blood, he therewith imbibed a sort of savage- 
ness ; nor did he turn ^way, but fixed his eye, 
drinking in madness unconsciously, and was 
delighted with the guilty contest, and drunken 



foufscore arches, and rising, with four successive orders of archi- 
tecture, to the height of one hundred and forty feet, llie outside 
of the ^ifice was encrusted with marble, and decorated with statues. 
The slopes of the vast concave which formed the inside were tilled 
and surrounded with sixty or eighty rows of seats of marble, like- 
wise covered with cushions, and capable of receiving with ease above 
fourscore thousand spectators. Sixty-four vomitories (for by that 
name the doors were very aptly distinguished) poured forth the im- 
mense multitude ; and the entrances, passages, and staircases were 
contrived with such exquisite skill, that each person, whether of the 
senatorial, the equestrian, or the plebeian order, arrived at his des- 
tined place without trouble or confusion. Nothing was omitted 
which in anv respect could be subservient to the convenience or 
plea.surc of tne spectators. They were protected from the sun and 
rain by an ample canopy occasionally drawn over their heads. 'I'he 
air was continually refreshed by the playing of fountains, and pro- 
fusely impregnated by the grateful scent of aromatics. in the cen- 
tre of the edifice, the arena, or stage, was strewed with the finest 
sand, and successively assumed the most different forms : at one 
■MMoent it seemed to rise out of the earth, like the garden of the 
Hesperides, and was afterwards broken into the rocks and caverns 
of I'hrace. The subterraneous pipes conveyed an inexhaustible 
sinmly of water ; and what had just before appeared a level plain 
mignt be suddenly converted into a wide lake, covered with armed 
vessels and replenished with the monsters of the deep. In the deco- 
ration of these scenes the Roman emperors displayed their wealth 
and liberality; and we read, on various occasions, that the whole 
furniture of the amphitheatre consisted either of silver, or of gold, 
or of amber." In this magnificent building were enacted venatiox 
or hunting scenes, sea-fights, and gladiatorial shows, in all of which 
the greatest lavishncss was exhibited. The men engaged were for 
the most part either criminals or captives taken in war. On the 
occasion of the triumph of Trajan for his victory over the Dacians. 
it b said that ten thousand gladiators were engaged in combat, and 
that in the naumachia or sea-fisht shown by Domitian, ships and 
men in force equal to two real fleets were engaged, at an enormous 
expenditure of human life. " ir" says James Martineau {En- 
deavours after the Christian Life, pp. 261. 262), " you would wit- 
ness a scene characteristic of the popular life of old, you must go to 
the amphitheatre of Rome, mingle with its eighty thousand specta- 
tors, and watch the eager faces of senators and people : observe how 
the masters of the world spend the wealth of conquest, and indulge 
the pride of power. See every wild creature that God has made to 
dwell, from the jungles of India to the mountains of Wales, from the 
forests of Germany to the deserts of Nubia, brought hither to be 
hunted down in artificial groves by thousands in an hour ; behold 
the captives of war, noble, (>erhaps, and wise in their own land, 
turned loose, amid yells of insult, more terrible for their foreign 
tongue, to contend with brutal gladiators, trained to make death 
the favourite amusement, and present the most solemn of individual 
realities as a wholesale public sport ; mark the light look with which 
the multitude, by uplifted finger, demands that the wounded com- 
batant be slain before their eyes ; notice the troop of Christian mar- 
tyrs awaiting hand in hand the leap from the tiger's den. And when 
the day's spectacle is over^ and the blood of two thousand victims 
stains the ring, follow the giddy crowd as it streams from the vomi- 
tories into the street, trace its lazy course into the Forum, and hear 
it there scrambling for the bread of private indolence doled out by 
the purse of pifblic corruption ; and see how it suns itself to sleep 
in the open ways, or crawls into foul dens till morning brings the 
hope of games and merry blood again : — and you have an idea ol 
the^ Imperial people, and their passionate living for the moment, 
which the gospel found in occupation of the world." The desire 
for these shows increased as the empire advanced. Constantine 
failed to put a stop to them at Rome, though they were not admitted 
into the Christian capital he established at Constantinople. We 
have already shown (iii. sec. 2, note, above) how strongly attend- 
ance at stage-pluys and scenes like these was condemned by the 
Christian teachers. The passion, however, for these exhibitions 
was so great, that they were tmly brought to an end after the monk 
Telcmachus — horrified that Christians should witness such scenes 
— had been battered to death by the people in their rage at his fling- 
ing himself between the swordsmen to stop the combat. This tragic 
episode occurred in the year 403, at a show held in commemoration 
Of a temporary success over the troops of Alaric. 



with the bloody pastime. Nor was he now the 
same he came in, but was one of the throng he 
came unto, and a true companion of those who 
had brought him thither. Why need I say 
more? He looked, shouted, was excited, 
carried away with him the madness which 
would stimulate him to return, not only with 
those who first enticed him, but also before 
them, yea, and to draw in others. And from 
all this didst Thou, with a most powerful and 
most merciful hand, pluck him, and taughtest 
him not to repose confidence in himself^ but in 
Thee — but not till long after. 

CHAP. IX. — INNOCENT ALYPIUS, BEING APPRE- 
HENDED AS A THIEF, IS SET AT LIBERTY BY 
THE CLEVERNESS OF AN ARCHITECT. 

14. But this was all being stored up in his 
memory for a medicine hereafter. As was that 
also, that when he was yet studying under me 
at Carthage, and was meditating at noonday in 
the market-place upon what he had to recite (as 
scholars are wont to be exercised). Thou suffer- 
edst him to be apprehended as a thief by the 
officers of the market-place. For no other 
reason, I apprehend, didst Thou, O our God, 
suffer it, but that he who was in the future to 
prove so great a man should now begin to learn 
that, in judging of causes, man should not with 
a reckless credulity readily be condemned by 
man. For as he was walking up and down 
alone before the judgment-seat with his tablets 
and pen, lo, a young man, one of the scholars, 
the real thief, privily bringing a hatchet, got in 
without Alypius' seeing him as far as the leaden 
bars which protect the silversmiths' shops, and ^ 
began to cut away the lead. But the noise of 
the hatchet being heard, the silversmiths below 
began to make a stir, and sent to take in cus- 
tody whomsoever they should find. But the 
thief, hearing their voices, ran away, leaving 
his hatchet, fearing to be taken with it. Now 
Alypius, who had not seen him come in, caught 
sight of him as he went out, and noted with 
what speed he made off. And, being curious to 
know the reasons, he entered the place, where, 
finding the hatchet, he stood wondering and 
pondering, when behold, those that were sent 
caught him alone, hatchet in hand, the noise 
whereof had startled them and brought them * 
thither. They lay hold of him and drag him 
away, and, gathering the tenants of the market- 
place about them, boast of having taken a noto- 
rious thief, and thereupon he was being led away 
to apppear before the judge. 

15. But thus far was he to be instructed. For 
immediately, O Lord, Thou camest to the suc- 
cour of his innocency, whereof Thou wert the 
sole witness. For, as he was being led either to 
prison or to punishment, they were met by a 



Chap. X.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTlN. 



97 



certain architect, who had the chief charge of 
the public buildings. They were si>ecially glad 
to come across him, by whom they used to be 
suspected of stealing the goods lost out of the 
market-place, as though at last to convince him 
by whom these thefts were committed. He, 
however, had at divers times seen Alypius at 
the house of a certain senator, whom he was 
wont to visit to pay his resi)ects; and, recog- 
nising him at once, he took him aside by the 
hand, and inquiring of him the cause of so great 
a misfortune, heard the whole affair, and com- 
manded all the rabble then present (who were 
very uproarious and full of threatenings) to go 
with him. And they came to the house of the 
young man who had committed the deed. 
There, before the door, was a lad so young as 
not to refrain from disclosing the whole through 
the fear of injuring his master. For he had fol- 
lowed his master to the market-place. Whom, 
so soon as Alypius recognised, he intimated it 
to the architect ; and he, showing the hatchet 
to the lad, asked him to whom it belonged. 
'*To us," quoth he immediately; and on being 
further interrogated, he disclosed everything. 
Thus, the crime being transferred to that house, 
and the rabble shamed, which had begun to 
triumph over Alypius, he, the future dispenser 
of Thy word, and an examiner of numerous 
causes in Thy Church,* went away better ex- 
perienced and instructed. 

CHAP. X. — THE WONDERFUL INTEGRITY OF ALY- 
PIUS IN JUDGMENT. THE LASTING FRIENDSHIP 
OF NEBRIDIUS WITH AUGUSTlN. 

1 6. Him, therefore, had I lighted upon at 
Rome, and he clung to me by a most strong tie, 
and accompanied me to Milan, both that he 
might not leave me, and that he might practise 
something of the law he had studied, more with 
a view of pleasing his parents than himself. 
There had he thrice sat as assessor with an un- 
corruptness wondered at by others, he rather 
wondering at those who could prefer gold to in- 
tegrity. His character was tested, also, not only 
by the bait of covetousness, but by the spur of 
fear. At Rome, he was assessor to the Count 
of the Italian Treasury.' There was at that time 
a most potent senator, to whose favours many 
were indebted, of whom also many stood in 
fear. He would fain, by his usual power, have 
a thing granted him which was forbidden by the 

' " Alypius became Bishop of Thaga.ste (Aug. De Gestis c. Ent- 
trii. sees, i and 5). On the necessity which bishops were under of 
hearing secular caases, and its use, see Bingham, ii. c. 7." — K. B, P. 

* '* The lx>rd High Treasurer of the Western Empire was called 
Ofmgs Sturarum Targitionum . He had six other treasurers in so 
many provinces under him, whereof he of Italy was one under 
whom this Alvpius had some office of judicature, something Ifke 
(though far inferior) to our Baron of the Exchequer. See Sir Henry 
apelman's GliKsary. in the word Comts ; and Cassiodor, Var. v. c. 
40."— W. W. 



laws. This Alypius resisted ; a bribe was prom- 
ised, he scorned it with all his heart ; threats 
were employed, he trampled them under foot, 
— all men being astonished at so rare a spirit, 
which neither coveted the friendship nor feared 
the enmity of a man at once so powerful and so 
greatly famed for his innumerable means of 
doing good or ill. Even the judge whose coun- 
cillor Alypius was, although also unwilling that 
it should be done, yet did not openly refuse it, 
but put the matter off upon Alypius, alleging 
that it was he who would not permit him to do 
it ; for verily, had the judge done it, Alypius 
would have decided otherwise. With this one 
thing in the way of learning was he very nearly 
led away, — that he might have books copied for 
him at praetorian prices.' But, consulting jus- 
tice, he changed his mind for the better, es- 
teeming equity, whereby he was hindered, more 
gainful than the power whereby he was per- 
mitted. These are little things, but *' He that 
is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also 
in much."* Nor can that possibly be void 
which proceedeth out of the mouth of Thy 
Truth. ** If, therefore, ye have not been faith- 
ful in the unrighteous mammon, who will com- 
mit to your trust the .true riches? And if ye 
have not been faithful in that which is another 
man's, who shall give you that which is your 
own ? " * He, being such, did at that time 
cling to me, and wavered in purpose, as I did, 
what course of life was to be taken. 

17. Nebridius also, who had left his native 
country near Carthage, and Carthage itself, 
where he had usually lived, leaving behind his 
fine paternal estate, his house, and his mother, 
who intended not to follow him, had come to 
Milan, for no other reason than that he might live 
wit h me i n a most ardent se.*ir rl) a ftP'' tnit h and 
'wt§9om^ tike me he^sigh ed; like m e he jKav.- 
ere &f an aidc n i seckci af t p iftrue lifeTand a most 
atttte C^caminei of tlieinost'ab sIniaT^iif'ifioni? 
'So wete there three beggmg rtiouths, sighing 
out their wants one to the other, and waiting 
upon Thee, that Thou mightest give them their 
meat in due season.^ And in all the bitterness 
which by Thy mercy followed our worldly pur- 
suits, as we contemplated the end, why this suf- 
fering should be ours, darkness came upon us; 
and we turned away groaning and exclaiming, 
** How long shall these things be?" And this 
we often said ; and saying so, we did not relin- 
quish them, for as yet we had discovered noth- 



' Pretiis prettorianis. Du Cange says that " Pretium regiuw 
is the right of a king or lord to purchase commodities at a certain 
and definite price." This may perhaps help us to understand the 
phrase as above employed. 

* Luke xvi 10. 

* Luke xvi. »i, 12, 

* Augiistin makes a similar allusion to Nebridius' ardour in exam- 
ining difhcult questions, especially those which refer ad doctrinam 
pietatis, in his 98th Epistle. 

' Ps. cxlv. 15. 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VI 



ing certain to which, when relinquished, i^e 
might betake ourselves. 

CHAP. XI. BEING TROUBLED BV HIS GRIEVOUS 

ERRORS, HE MEDITATES ENTERING ON A NEW 
LIFE. 

I i8. And I, puzzling over and reviewing these 
I things, most inarvelled at the length of time 
I from that my nineteenth year, wherein I begai 
I to be inflamed with the desire of wisdom, re 
I solving, when I had found her, to forsake all the 
J empty hopes and lying insanities of vain desires. 
I And behold, I was now getting on to my thir- 
I tieth year, sticking in the same mire, eager for 
I the enjoyment of things present, which By away 
' ; and destroy me, whilst I say, "To-morrow I 
\ shall distrover it ; behold, it will appear plainly, 
1 and I shall seize it ; behold, Faustus will come 
and explain everything ! O ye great men, ye 
: Academicians, it is then true that nothing cer- 
tain for the ordering of life can be attained ! 
I Nay, let us search the more diligently, and let 
us not despair. Lo, the things in the ecclesias- 
. tical books, which appeared to us absurd afore- 
time, do not appear so now, and may be other- 
wise and honestly interpreted. 1 will set my 
, feet upon that step, where, as a child, my parents 
placed me, until the clear truth be discovered. 
But where and when shall it be sought ? Am- 
brose has no leisure, — we have no leisure to 
read. Wheteare we lo find the books? Whence 
I or when procure them ? From whom borrow 
I them ? Let set times be appointed, and certain 
I hours be set apart for the health of the soul. 
i Great hope has risen upon us, the Catholic faith 
'idoth not teach what we conceived, and vainly 
.accused it of Her learned ones hold it as an 
;, abomination to believe that God is limited by 
|the form of a human body. And do we doubt 
'to 'knock,' in order that the rest may be 
' 'opened'?' The mornings are taken up by 
j our scholars ; how do we employ the rest of the 
; day? Why do we not set about this? But 
when, then, pay our respects to our great 
friends, of whose favours we stand in need ? 
I When prepare what our scholars buy from us ? 
When recreate ourselves, relaxing our minds 
■ from the pressure of care ? " 

19. " Perish everything, and let us dismiss 

these empty vanities, and betake ourselves solely 

to the search after truth ! Life is miserable, death 

' uncertain. If it creejs upon us suddenly, in 

, what state shall we dejKirt hence, and where 

. shall we team what we have neglected here? 

, Or rather shall we not suffer the punishment of 

this negligence? What if death itself should 

cut off and put an end to all care and feeling ? 

This also, then, must be inquired into. But 



God forbid that it should be so. It is not with- 
out reason, it is no empty thing, that the so 
eminent height of the authority of the Christian 
faith is diffused throughout the entire world. 
Never would such and so great things be wrou^l 
lor us, if, by the death of the body, the life of 
thf soul were destroyed. Why, therefore, do. 
wc delay to abandon our hopes of this world,! 
and give ourselves wholly to seek after God audi 
Stbi- blessed life ? But stay ! Even those thingsf 
' ari; enjoyable ; and they possess some and no 
hitle sweetness. We must not abandon them 
lightly, for it would be a shame to return to 
ihi'm again. Behold, now is it a great matter 
to obtain some post of honour! And what 
inure could we desire? We have crowds of 
I influential friends, though we have nothing else, 
' anil if we make haste a presidentship may be 
i i:>iTered us ; and a wife with some money, that 
jhe increase not our expenses ; and this shall be 
the height of desire. Many men, who are great 
and worthy of imitation, have applied them- 
selves to the study of wisdom in the marriage 
stale." 

30. Whilst I talked of the.se things, and these 
winds veered about and tossed my heart hither 
and thither, the time passed on ; but I was slow 
to turn to the Lord, and from day to day de- 
ferred to live in Thee, and deferred not daily to/ 
die in myself. Being enamoured of a happW 
life, 1 yet feared it in its own abode, and, fleof 
ing from it, sought after it. I conceived thatft 
should be too unhappy were I deprived of tl(e 
embracements of a woman;' and of Thy mer- 
ciAil medicine to cure that infirmity I thought 
not, not having tried iL As regards conti- 
nency, I imagined it. to be under the control of 
our own strength (though in myself I found it 
not), being so foolish as not to know what is writ- 
ten, that none can be continent unless Thou give 
it ;* and that Thou wouldst give it, if with h^rt- 
felt groaning 1 should knock at Thine ears, and 
should with firm faith cast my care upon Thee,. 



21. It was in truth Alypius who prevented 
me from marrying, alleging that thus we could 

t "I HUfiiianeleil in Ihelilc nf thin wdiM. clinsinK todullkofiM 
oT 3 IxDuteuui wifa. th< pomp of riches, Ihe Eninincd of honoun, 
und ihE uiher hunliil and ilotruciivc plemuRH " {Aug. Or VHI. 
Credtndi, tec, 3I. ■■ After I had iJiaken uff tlic Mankhmn aad 
etcapnj, opnisllir wlwn I had cronKd the ua, ihe Aadenici loa( 
deiiiiKd nc iiHini In die waves, winds trom nil •guarten beatinc 
a^n«t my helm. And 10 I ca --■■-» ...... »..._j . 



[AmlnweJ, and ir 



wlol 



dr>ru&].limtyaihad nu corpoRal' 
or even of ihe mmiI, **'-■■ -* ■•• 
withheld, i uvn.fruni 
tine windnm by the aUi 

had bclore me) with ci 
(AuR, /V yi/a Bata. 
> Wild. liii. a, Vult. 



Chap. XIV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



99 



by no means live together, having so much iin- 
distiacted leisure in the love of wisdom, as wc 
had long desired. For he himself was so cha.-itc 
in this matter that it was wonderful — all th<: 
more, too, that in his early youth he had entered 
upon that path, but had not clung to it ; rather 
had he, feeling sorrow and disgust at it, lived 
from llut time to the present most continently. 
But 1 opposed him with the examples of tho-^f 
who as married men had loved wisdom, found 
favour with God, and walked faithfully and lov- 
ingly with their friends. From the greatne-i-, 
of whose spirit I fell far short, and, enthralkd 
with the disease of the flesh and its deailly 
sweetness, dragged my chain along, fearing in 
be loosed, and, as if it pressed my wound, re- 
jected his kind expostulations, as it were chf 
hand of one who would unchain me. More 
over, it was by me that the serpent spake unto 
Alypius himself, weaving and laying in his path, 
by my tongue, pleasant snares, wherein his hon- 
ourable and free feet ' might be entangled. 

22. For when he wondered that I, for whom 
he had no slight esteem, stuck so fast in the 
bird-lime of that pleasure as to affirm whenevei- 
we discussed the matter that it would be imp-js- 
sible for me to lead a single life, and urged m 
my defence when I saw him wonder that then- 
was a vast difference between the life that In: 
had tried by stealth and snatches (of which lie 
had now but a faint recollection, and miglu 
therefore, without regret, easily despise), and 
my sustained acquaintance with it, whereto if 
but the honourable name of marriage were added, 
he would not then be a.stonished at my inability 
to contemn that course, — then began he also to 
wish to be married, not a.s if overpowered by 
the lust of such pleasure. But from curiosity.'^ 
For, as he said, he was anxious to know what 
that could be without which my life, which was 
so pleasing to him, seemed to me not life but :i 
penalty. For his mind, free from that chain. 
was astounded at my slavery, and through that 
astonishment was going on to a desire of trying 
it, and from it to the trial itself, and thence, 
perchance, to (all into that bondage whereat he 



•;;s. 



amiME the I 



Fuhcr (Paps) Aiypiut" {Ef. 3^. Hid.}. EaHlcr. Auipiitin '•puki 

ud wlwSi]^\£>.«)'[Roinini»'lfi^'-i.'a'«'l^™Jl'^^ 
eniUc and tnily blcHcd Ifiahop Alypiui. whom yiii vmbTa<;c wiih 
your whole hean dewrvcdly^ for ohoHiocr (hinkm bvuuralily of 
thaiuui. Ihinki of ihc jtnai mercy uf Uud. Suun, by ihc hdpof 
Cod, I thai] lni»fuK Alypiui wholly into ynit iiiul [Paulinas had 
aikcd Alypna u wriu him hix life, aiid AuijiBlin had, at Alypim' 
requctt, uoden^vn to relieve hini,and1udo 11): fi>r J feared trhiefty 
leat he thoutd thrink from layiM open all which the Lord hai 
bntowed updn him, lat, if read by anv oidinary person {for it 
would not DC rted by you on]y>, he thoiild w«m i>o[ ui much to vt 
Ibtth the iJfti at Cod cummiiKd lo men. u to eiali Jiinuclf.''^ 



was so astonished, seeing he was ready to enter 
into "a covenant with death;'" and he that 
loves danger shall fall into it.' For whatever 
the conjugal honour be in the office of well- 
ordering a married life, and sustaining children, 
influenced us but slightly. But that which did 
for the most part afflict me, already made a slave 
to it, was the habit of satisfying an insatiable 
lust ; him about to be enslaved did an admiring 
wonder draw on. In this state were we, until 
Thou, O most High, not forsaking our lowliness, 
I ummiserating our misery, didst come to our 
rcsrue by wonderful and secret ways. 

(HAP. XIII. — BEING URCIED BY HIS MOTHER TO 
TAKE A WIFE, HE SOUGHT A MAIDEN THAT 
WAS PLEASING UNTO HIM, 

2j. Active efforts were made to get me a 
nif.;. I wooed, I was engaged, my mother 
taking the greatest pains in the matter, that 
i\ litu I was once married, the health-giving bap- 
lisin might cleanse me; for which she rejoiced 
that I was being daily fitted, remarking that her 
dt'-iresand Thy promises were being fulfilled in 
my faith. At which time, verily, both at my 
request and her own desire, with strong heartfelt 
critin did we daily beg of Thee that Thou would- 
est liy a vision disclose unto her something con- 
ecriting my future marriage ; but Thou wouldest 
not. She saw indeed certain vain and fantastic 
things, suchas the earnestness of a human spirit, 
bent thereon, conjured up; and these she told 
me of, not with her usual confidence when Thou 
had.st shown her anything, but slighting them. 
For she could, she declared, through some feel- 
ing which she could not express in words, dis- 
cern the difference betwixt Thy revelations and 
rhe dreams of her own spirit. Yet the affair 
was pressed on, and a maiden sued who wanted 
In o years of the marriageable age ; and, as she 
wai pleasing, she was waited for. 

CHAP. XIV. — THE DESIGN OF ESTABLISHING A 
COMMON HOUSEHOLD WITH HIS FRIENDS IS 
SPEEDILY HINDERED. 

24. And many of us friends, consulting on 
and abhorring the turbulent vexations of human 
life, had considered and now almost determined 
upon living at ease and separate from the Cur- 
moil of men. And this was to be obtained in 
this way ; we were to bring whatever we could 
severally procure, and make a common house- 
hold, so that, through the sincerity of our friend- 
ship, nothing should belong more to one than 
the other ; but the whole, being derived from 
all, should as a whole belong to each, and the 
whole unto all. It seemed to us that this 



lOO 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VL 



society might consist of ten persons, some of 
whom were very rich, especially Romanianus,* 
our townsman, an intimate friend of mine from 
his childhood, whom grave business matters had 
then brought up to Court ; who was the most 
earnest of us all for this project, and whose voice 
was of great weight in commending it, because 
his estate was far more ample than that of the 
rest. We had arranged, too, that two officers 
should be chosen yearly, for the providing of 
all necessary things, whilst the rest were left un- 
disturbed. But when we began to reflect whether 
the wives which some of us had already, and 
others hoped to have, would permit this, all that 
plan, which was being so well framed, broke to 
pieces in our hands, and was utterly wrecked 
and cast aside. Thence we fell again to sighs 
and groans, and our steps to follow the broad 
and beaten ways' of the world ; for 'many 
thoughts were in our heart, but Thy counsel 
standeth for ever.' Out of which counsel Thou 
didst mock ours, and preparedst Thine own, 
purposing to give us meat in due season, and to 
oj^en Thy liand, and to fill our souls with 
blessing.* 

CHAP. XV. — HE DISMISSES ONE MISTRESS, AND 

CHOOSES ANOTHER. 

25. Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied, 
alid my mistress being torn from my side as an 
impediment to my marriage, my heart, which 
clave to her, was racked, and wounded, and 
bleeding. And she went back to Africa, mak- 
ing a vow unto Thee never to know another 
man, leaving with me my natural son by her. 
But I, unhappy one, who could not imitate a 
woman, impatient of delay, since it was not 
until two years* time I was to obtain her I 
sought, — being not so much a lover of marriage 
as a slave to lust, — procured another (not a wife, 
though), that so by the bondage of a lasting 

* Romanianus was a relation of Al^piiw (Aug. Ep. 27, ad Paulin. ), 
of talent which astonished Augustin himself (C Acad. i. i, ii. i), 
*' surrounded by affluence from early youth, and snatched by what 
are thought adverse circumstances from the absorbing whirlpools of 
life" {ibid.). Augitstm frequently mentions his great wealth, as 
also this vexatious suit, whereby he was harassed ( C. Acad. i. i , ii. 
1,2), and which so clouded his mind that his talents were almost 
unknown (C. Acad. ii. 2| ; as also his very great kindness to him- 
self, when, " as a poor lad, setting out to foreign study, he had re- 
ceived him in his house, supportecTand (yet more) encouraged him ; 
when deprived of his father, comforted, animated, aided him : when 
returning to Carthage, in pursuit of a higher cmpltjyment, supplied 
him with all necessaries.' " Lastly," says Augustin, " whatever 
ease I now enjoy, that I have escaped the bonds of useless desires, 
that, laying aside the weight of dead cares, I breathe, recover, 
return to mysell, that with all earnestness I am seeking the truth 
[Augustin wrote this the year before his baptism], that lam attain- 
ing It, that 1 trust whofty to arrive at it, you encouraged, impelled, 
effected " ( C Acad. ii. 2). Au^stin had " cast him headlong with 
himself" (as so many other of his friends) into the Manicha:an heresy 
{ibid. \. sec. 3), and it is to be hoped that he extricated him with 
himself; but we only learn positively that he continued to be fond 
of the works of Augustin {£p. 27), whereas in that which he dedi- 
cated to him (C Acad.), Augustin writes very doubtingly to him, 
and afterwards recommends him to Paulinus. " to be cured wholly or 
in part by his conversation" {Ep. 27). — E. B. P. 

'J Matt. vii. 13. 

» Ps. xxxiii. II. 

< Ps. cxiv. 15, 16. 



habit the disease of my soul might be nursed 
up, and kept up in its vigour, or even increased, 
into the kingdom of marriage. Nor was that 
wound of mine as yet cured which had been 
caused by the separation from my former mis- 
tress, but after inflammation and most acute 
anguish it mortified,' and the pain became 
numbed, but more desperate. 

CHAP. XVI. — THE FEAR OF DEATH AND JUDGMENT* 
CALLED HIM, BELIEVING IN THE IMMORTALITY 
OF THE SOUL, BACK FROM HIS WICKEDNESS, HIM 
WHO AFORETIME BELIEVED IN THE OPINIONS OF 
EPICURUS. 

26. Unto Thee be praise, unto Thee be glory, 

Fountain of mercies ! I became more wretched, 
and Thou nearer. Thy right hand was ever 
ready to pluck me out of the mire, and to 
cleanse me, but I was ignorant of it. Nor did. 
anything recall me from a yet deeper abyss of 
carnal pleasures, but the fear of death and of 
Thy future judgment, which, amid all my fluc^ 
tuations of opinion, never left my breast. And^ 
in disputing with my friends, Alypius and Ne f. 
bridius, concerning the nature of good and evil,.^ 

1 held that Epicurus had, in my judgment, wor i 
the palm, had I not believed that after deatl | 
there remained a life for the soul, and places of 
recompense, which Epicurus would not believe.' 
And I demanded, ** Supposing us to be immor 
tal, and to be living in the enjoyment of pe 
petual bodily pleasure, and that without a"*^' 
fear of losing it, why, then, should we not 
happy, or why should we search for anythi 
else? '* — not knowing that even this very thin [ 
was a part of my great misery, that, being th 
sunk and blinded, I could not discern that light \ 



\ 



^ In his De Naiura Ccn. Manick. he has the same idea. He M 
speaking of the evil that has no pain, and remarks : " Likewise ii 
the body, better is a wound with pain than putrefaction without pain J 
which IS specially styled corruption ; " and the same idea is em- 
bodied in the extract from Cairo's Scrtnons, on p. 5, note 7. 

• The ethics of Epicurus were a modified Hedonism (Diog. Laert. 
De V 'itis, etc. , x . 123) , With him the earth was a congeries of atoms 
(ibid. 38, 40), which atoms existed from eternity, ^n^/orwed tkettt- 
selves, uninfluenced by the gods. I'he soul he held to be material. 
It was diffused through the body, and was in its nature somewhat 
like air. At death it was resolved into its original atoms, when the 
being ceased to exist {ibid. 63, 64). Hence death was a matter of 
indifference to man [o Bavaro^ ovh^v rtpb^ Y.Mac, ibid. 12^, etc.]. In 
that great upheaval after the scholasticism of the Middle Ages, the 
various ancient philosophies were revived. This of Epicurus was 
disentombed and, as it were, vitalized by Gassendi, in the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century : and it has a special importance 
from its bearing on the physical theories and investigations of mod- 
ern times. Archer Butler, adverting to the inadequacy of the chief 
philosophical scho<ils to satisfy the wants of the age in the early days 
of the planting of ChrUtianity {Lectures on Ancient Pkilosophv, n. 
33^), says of the Epiairean : " Its popularity was unquestioneu; its 
adaptation to a hixurious age could not be dc>ubted. But it was not 
formed to sati.sfy the wants of the time, however it might minister 
to its pleasures. It was, indeed, as it still continues to be, the tacit 
philosophy of the careless, and might thus number a larger army 
of discinlcs than any contemporary system. But its supremacy ex- 
isted only when it estimated numbers, it ceased when tried by xueight. 
1*he eminent men of Rome were often its avowed favourers ; but 
they were for the most part men eminent in arms and statesmanship, 
rather than the influential directors of the world of speculation. 
Nor could the admirable poetic art of I^icretius, or the still more 
attractive ease of Horace, confer such strength or aignity upon the 
system as to enable it to compete with the new and mysterious ele* 
ments now upon all sides gathering into conflict." 



Chap. XVL] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



loi 



of honour and beauty to be embraced for its 
own sake,^ which cannot be seen by the eye of 
the fleshy it being visible only to the inner man. 
Nor did I, unhappy one, consider out of what 
vein it emanated, that even these things, loath- 
=>ome as they were, I with {)leasure discussed with 
tny friends. Nor could 1, even in accordance 
with my then notions of happiness, make myself 
happy without friends, amid no matter how 
B^eat abundance of carnal pleasures. And these 
friends assuredly I loved for their own sakes, 

1 See viii. sec. 17, note, below. 



and I knew myself to be loved of them again 
for my own sake. O crooked ways ! Woe to 
the audacious soul which hoped that, if it for- 
sook Thee, it would find some better thing! 
It hath turned and re-turned, on back, sides, 
and belly, and all was hard,' and Thou alone 
rest. And behold, Thou art near, and deliver- 
est us from our wretched wanderings, and stab- 
lishest us in Thy way, and dost comfort us, and 
say, '*Run; I will carry you, yea, I will lead 
you, and there also will I carry you. * ' 

3 See above, iv. cc. i, io« and za. 



\ 



BOOK VII. 

HE RECALLS THE BEGINNING OF HIS YOUTH, /. /?. THE THIRTY-FIRST YEAR OF HIS AGE. IN WHICH VERY 
GRAVE ERRORS AS TO THE NATURE OF GOD AND THE ORIGIN OF EVIL BEING DISTINGUISHED, AND 
THE SACRED BOOKS MORE ACCURATELY KNOWN, HE AT LENGTH ARRIVES AT A CLEAR KNOWLEDGE 
OF GOD, NOT YET RIGHTLY APPREHENDING JESUS CHRIST. 

CHAP. I. — HE REGARDED NOT GOD INDEED UNDER 'removed from its placc and the place should 

THE FORM OF A HUMAN BODY, BUI' AS A COR- [ remain empty of any body at all, whether 

POREAL SUBSTANCE DIFFUSED THROU(;H SPACE, i earthy, terrestrial, wat<5ry, aerial, or celestial, 

I. Dead now was that evil and abominable but should remain a void place--a spacious 

youth of mine, and I was passing into early nothmg, as it were. 

manhood : as I increased in years, the foulJr , ^' ^ therefore being thus gross-hearted, nor 
became I in vanity, who could not conceive of ^^^^ar even to myself, whatsoever was not 
any substance but such as I saw with my own stretched over certain spaces, nor diffused, nor 
eyes. 1 thought not of Thee, O (iod, under ^^^'^'^^^ together, nor swelled out, or which 

the form of a human body. Since the time I '^'^ ^^^ ^^^?"i^ ^^^ ^^,^^?^'^ ^^t""^ ^^^ "^K 
began to hear something of wisdom, 1 always "tensions, I judged to be altogethernothing.' 

avoided this 
same in the 

Catholic Church. But wliat else to imai^:!..^ , . r l- , • t j 

Thee I knew not. And I, a man, and such a ^'^"^ same images, was not of this kind, and 

man, sought to conceive of Thee, the sovereign y^;' 1' '^^^^'^ not have formed them had not it- 

and only true God ; and 1 did in my inmost f '^ ^^'-'" ^"^fiH^ ^^f .^ ^? ^'^^ .'P/"'^^^ *«1 

heart believe that Thou wert incorruptible, and \^^^'--^^^.'^ o\ Ihcc, Life of my life, as vast 

inviolable, and unchangeable; because, not through infinite spaces, on every side penetrat- 

knowing whence or how, yet most. i>lainly did I !"e l^" "''"'l ""^t " '^ ^^'l'^,' ^*i ^y°"/ 
see and feel sure that that which may be cor- !'' ''^ *^>'^' through imme^urablc and bound- 

rupted must be worse than that which cannot, 'f' T^"^' f ' a-, ' '^^'^■j^'^ '^^o"'^ ^''"^ J^' 

and what cannot be violated did I without hesi- '^'^^ 'if'^^*:" ^"'^^^^'^nl u '"^ ^''"'^ ^' 

tation prefer before that which, an, and deemed f* they bounded ^nlhee, but Thou nowhere, 

that which suffers no change to be better than ^'"^^^^ ^^"^ ^^1 "^ '^f ^'^ r''"i^ !^ abovethe 




from the 



eye of my mind all that unclean crowd ' ^ ™agnied the body, not of heaven, air, 
ttered around it.' And lo, being scarce l^^''^ °"'y- >'"t "^ ^^e earth also, to be pen 



and 



which fluttered around it.' And lo, being scarce ! ^^';^°^y' ^^^ ^ ''^' ™ ^''"^J" ^ pervious 
put orf, they, in the twinklint^ of an eye, pressed I 

■ i^-ij J ji_j'i.* i »" For with what unHcrstandinR can man apprehend (»od. who 

m multitudes around me, dashed against my I docs not yet apprehend that very undersundingiisdf of his own by 
face, and beclouded it: so that, though I | which he desires to apprchemUfim? And if he does alrcady^^^^ 

' /- ri-*! 11 /. /-I I hcnd this, let him carefully consider that there IS n«>thmg in his own 

thought not of 1 nee under the form of a human nature bctier than it . and Ut him see whether he can iherc see any 

DOUy, yet WOh l COnSirameU lO image l nee to dMauce of narts, or extension of size, or any movements through 
be something corporeal in space, either infused intervals of place, t.r any such thing at all. Certainly we find 
. . .1 11 ' ^ •. \ j'rr 11 J '.^ ■ nothint; of all this in that, than which we find not lun); better in our 

into the world, or innnitely diffused t)eyOnd it, . own nature, that is, in our own intellect ly which we apprehend 

— even that incorruptible, inviolable, and un- ; J'^^v'" •?'-V''''*;'^«/^.* ""^ »^^M>acity wluu therefore, we do not 

* /-J 1 . «"'d 111 that, which is our own best, wc ought not to seek in Him, 

changeable, which I preferred to the COrniptl- j who is far l>etter than that hirst of ours: that so we may undcrsund 
1.1« «.^J .,:,^l^U1^ ^^A .^U^^^ ^.^\A . , .,:^^.^ ...U^«^ (lod, if we an: able, and as much as we arc able, as c(ic»d without 

ble, and violable, and changeable; since what- |,,„;.iity.j,re;.t without quantity, a creator though Hcfack nothing, 
soever I conceived, deprived of this space, i r'»i"'J>' l"'» 1^'?'" "IM"'^'^'""- '''''^'•'^'"'"R »" »i''"j^^^ 

J I.' 1 L them, in His wholeness cverj'where yet without place, eternal 

appeared as nothing to me, yea, altogether ; without time, makinK things that are chauj^eahle without change of 

nnfhinrr nnf pvpn a vniH a<; if t hoHv vi'prp ^ ^^'"'''*-''''*""' ^''^'^""^ P*'*'*''"*" Whoso thus think*; of God, althoi:gh 
noining, not even a VOia, as ll a OOa\ ^'^^^^ he cannot yet find out in all ways what He is, yet piously takes 

" " " j heed, as much as he is able, to think nothing of Him that He i< 

1 Sec iii. sec, 12, iv. sees. 3 and 12, and v. sec. 19, above. 1 not.' — De 'frin. v. 2. 



102 



Chap. III.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 103 



to Thee, and in all its greatest parts as well as enough against those who wholly merited to be 

smallest penetrable to receive Thy presence, by vomited forth from the surfeited stomach, since 

a secret inspiration, both inwardly and out- they had no means of escape without horrible 

wardly governing all things which Thou hast sacrilege, both of heart and tongue, thinking 

created. So I conjectured, because I was and speaking such things of Thee, 
unable to think of anything else; for it was 

untrue. For in this way would a greater part chap. hi. — that the cause of evil is the 

of the earth contain a greater portion of Thee, free judgment of the will. 

and the le^ a lesser; and all' things should so g^^ j ^1^^ ^ ^ although I said and was 

be full of rhee, as that the body of an elephant ^^^^^ persuaded, 'that Thou our Lord, the true 

should contam more of Thee than that of a Qod, who madest not only our souls but our 

sparrow by how much larger it is and occupies ^^^^ ^„^ „^^ ^„, 3^^l3 ^^ ^^-^ ^^ ^^^^ 

more room ; and so shouldest Thou make the ^^ creatures and all things, wert uncontamina- 

portions of Thyself present unto the several ble and inconvertible, and in no part mutable ; 

portions of the world, in pieces great to the yet understood I not readily and clearly what 

great, little to the little But Thou art not (^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^-^ An^ ^ whatever it 

such a one ; nor hadst ihou as yet enlightened ^^^ j perceived that it must be so sought out as 

my darknesh. ^^^ ^^ constrain me by it to believe that the 

immutable God was mutable, lest I myself 
chap. II. — the disputation of nebridius __ 

AGAINST THE MANICH>EANS, ON THE QUESTION him to the true faith. Again, in his De Moribus (sec. 25), where 

** WHETHER GOD BE CORRUPTIBLE OR INCOR- he "ajjjnes the answer which had been given he commences : 

,, '* ror this gives rise to the question, which used to throw us into 

RUPTIBLE. great perplexity, even when we were your zealous disciples, nor 

could we find any answer, — ^what the race of darkness would have 

7. It was sufficient for me, O Lord, to oppose <^?"« '« ^'?^* supposing He had refused to fight with it at the cost 

*'- , 'ii • 111 of such calamity to pait ot Himself, ror if God would not have suf- 

tO those deceived deceivers and dumb praters fcred any loss by remaining quiet, we thought it hard that we had 

Miimh dnrp Thv wnrH <u-iiinHpH nnf forth frnm *>««" »e"t to endure so much. Again, if He would have .suffered, 

^QUmO, since iny wore SOUnaea nOC lOrin irom ^j^. ^j^^^^e cannot have been incorruptible, as it behooves the nature 

them) that which a long while ago, while we of God to be." We have already, in the note to book iv. sec. 26, 

. /•» .1 XT u -J' J ^ J referred to some of the matters touched on in this section ; but they 

were at Carthage, JNebriaiUS used to propound, call for further elucidation. The following passage, quoted by 

at which all we who heard it were disturbed: Augustin from Manichaus himself {Con. 2> Manich.ii)), dis- 
cusses to us (i) their ideas as to the nature and position of the two 

** What could that reputed nation of darkness, kingdoms : " in one direction, on the border of this bright and holy 

wViirh tViP Mjinirh'¥»in«i arf> in fhf> hahJf nf ^t region, there was a land of darkness, deep and vast in extent, where 

WniCn me IVianiCnaeanS are m ine naOll 01 Sei- ^bode fiery bodies, destructive races. Here was boundless dark- 

ting up as a mass opposed to Thee, have done "^^ flowing from the same source in immeasurable abundance, 

P rrn_ 1. J ^ »-r«i- i_ • ... j .l /^ l... '...i- "^ -% with the productions properly belonging to it. Beyond this were 

unto Inee hadst InOU objected to hght with it? muddy, turbid waters, with their inhabitants; and inside of them 

For had it been answered, ' It would have done winds tcn-iblc and violent, with their prince and their progenitors. 

^^ . . ' , Then, again, a fiery region of destruction, with its chiefs and pco- 

1 nee some injury, then shouldest Thou be sub- pies. And similarly inside of this, a race full of smoke and gloom, 

:«^*. ♦«. ^.T'.J^^^^,.^ rt«^ .r>.r>..^.*^4^:^« . U..* :c «-U« where abode the dreadful prince and chief of all, having around him 

ject to Violence and corruption; but if the enumerable princes, hlmsdf the mind and r'oiirce of them all. 

reply were : * It could do Thee no injury,' then ^^uch are the five natures of the region of corruption " Augustin 

*^ ' • t r 'T-«i /• 1 .• -..1 '^ *»*o designates them (tfifa. sec. ao) "the five dens of the race of 

was no cause assigned for ihy fighting with it ; darkness.^- The nation of darknes.^ desires to possess the kingdom 

nT\rl on (\crht\r\<T aa fhnf n i-prfnin nnrfinn anH of light, and prepares to make war upon it ; and in the controversy 

ana so ^g'^J^J^g as tnai a certain portion ana ..uhFaustuswc have (2) the beginning and issue of the war (0«. 

member of Thee, or offspring of Thy very sub- J'aus/. a. ^; see also n^ Hares, 46). Augustin says: •• Vou dress 

-.*^~-.^ ^l.^..l.l ix^ Ul^-,J«J ...:4.U ^A,.^.^,^ .r^^.....-^ up for our benefit some wonderful First Man, who came down from 

stance, should be blended with adverse powers ^{,^ race of light, to war with the race of darkness, armed with his 

and natures not of Thv creation, and be by ^*^-itcrs against the waters of the enemy, and with his fire against 

, 111"- 11 their fire, and with his winds against their winds. And again 

them COrnipted and deteriorated to such an ex- {ibid. sec. 5) : " Vou say thai he mingled with the principles of 

t*>«t Qc f-n Kf* Hirnp'H ^rcwn horki^ini:»cc infri mic/»rv darkness in his conflict with the race ofdarkness, that ny capturing 

tent as to be turnea trom Happiness into misery, j,^^^^ principles the world might be made out of the mixture. So 

and need help whereby it might be delivered that, by your profane fancies, Chilst is not only mingled with 

J \ j*.T_^lt-' cr ' r 'i^i_ I heaven and all the stars, but conjoined and compounded with the 

and purged; and that tniSOnspring Ot Iny .sub- earth and .all its productions,— a Saviour no more, but needing to 

Stance was the soul, to which, beinff en.slaved, besavcdby you, &>• your eating and disgorging Him This foolish 

J J ' J ' ,_, *-* 1 r custom of making your disciples bring you lood, that your teeth 

contaminated, and corrupted, Iny word, free, and stomach may "be the means o. relieving Christ, who is bound 

niirp anH enfirp micrht hrincr mirrnnr • hnf vet ^^ '" '*• '* ^ consequence of your profane fancies. Vou declare 

pure, ana enure, migni Oring succour, DUI yei ^^^^ ^y^^^^ i^. liberated in this way,— not, however, entirely; for 

also the word itself being corruptible, because you hold that some tiny particles of no value still remain in the ex- 

/• J...U i^ o crement, to be mixed up and compounded again and again in 

It was trom one and the same substance. bo various material forms, and to be released and purified at any rate 

that should they affirm Thee,' whatsoever Thou ^y »^^ '^'■<=.'" *^''^^ the world win be burned up, if not before. 

• r-ryy It T"! Nay, cvcii then, you Say, Christ is not entirely hberated, but some 

art, that is, Ihy substance whereby Ihou art, extreme particles of His good and divine nature, which have been 

fr» Iva i n r>r» rr nnfi hi *^ Y\\t^\\ ^xT^^re^ nil fViP»c*^ 'jccf^r so defiled that they cannot be cleansed, are condemned to stay for 

to De incorruptible, then were an tnese aS.Ser- ever in the mass of darkness." The resuU of this commingling of 

tionS false and execrable : but if corruptible, 1 the light with the darkness was, that a certain portion and member 

, V . c \ J «. *,u r: t «.«. of (iod was turned " from happiness into misery," and placed in 



bondage in the world, and was in need of help *' whereby It might 



then that were false, and at the first utterance 

to he al^hnrrpH " * Thi-^ arrrnment then \va>> be delivered and purged." (See also CV«. /'br/wwa/. 1. 1') Refer- 
to DC aunorrea. 1 nib argumenu, men, \va.s . ^^^^ ^^^ ^ ^^j-^ ^^^^ ^^^ information as to the method by which 

the divine substance was released in the eating of the elect, to the 
notes on book iii. sec. i8, above ; and for the influence of the sun 
and moon in accomplishing that release, to the note on book v. sec. 
12, above. 



* Similar ar^ments are made use of in his controversy with For- 
tnnatus (/>ix. li. 5), where he says, that as Fortunatus could find no 
answer, so neither could he when a Manichaean, and that this led 



should become the ihing that I wasseeking out. 
I sought, therefore, for it free from care, certain 
of the untruth (illness of what these asserted, 
whom I shunned with my whole heart ; for I 
jierceived that through seeking after the origin 
of evil, they were filled with malice, in tliat 
Ihey liked belter to think that Thy Substance 
did sufferevii than that their own did commit it.' 
5. And I directed my attention to discern 
what I now heard, that free will* was the cause 
of our doing evil, and Thy righteous judgment 
of our suffering it. But I was unable clearly to 
discern it. So, then, trying to draw the eye 
of my mind from that pit, I w.ts plunged again 
therein, and trying often, was as often plunged 
back again. But this raised me towards Thy 
light, that 1 knew as well that I had a will as 
that I had life: when, therefore, I was willing 
or unwilling to do anything, I was most certain 
tlial it was none but myself that was willing and 
unwilling; and immediately I perceived that 
ihere was the cause of my sin. But what I did 
against my will I saw that I suffered rather than 
did, and that judged I not lo be my fault, but 
my punishment ; whereby, believing Thee to 
he most just, 1 quickly confessed myself to Ix- 
j/not unjustly punished. But again I said: 
U" Who made me? Was it not my Gud, who 
I is not only good, but goodness itself? Whence 
I came 1 then to will to do evil, and to be 
[ unwilling to do good, that there might be 
I' cause for my just punishment? Who was 
it that put this in me, and implanted in me 
the root of bitterness, seeing 1 was altogether 
made by my most sweet God? If the devil 
were the author, whence is that devil ? And if 
he also, by his own perverse will, of a good 
angel became a devil, whence also was the evil 
will in him whereby he became a devil, seeing 
that the angel was made altogether good by that 
most good Creator ? " ' By these reflections was 
1 again cast down and stifled ; yet not plunged 
into that hell of error (where no man confesseth 
unto Thee),' to think that Thou dost suffer evil, 
rather than that man doth it. 

I CHAP. IV. — THAT COD IS NOT CORRltpTIBLE, WHO, 
I IF HE WERE, WOULD NOT BE GOD AT ALL. 

I 6. For I was so stru^ling to find out the 
I rest, as having already found that what was 
, incorruptible must be better than the corrupti- 
ble ; and Thee, therefore, whatsoever Thou 
wert, did I acknowledge to be incorruptible. For 
never yet was, nor will be, a soul able to con- 
ceive of anything better than Thou, who art the 
highest and best good. But whereas most 
truly and certainly that which is incorruptible 

I Sue [v. ttc. 16, iiale. .bore. 



' is to be preferred lo the comipiibie (like as I 
myself did now prefer it), then, if Thou were 
not incqrniptibic, I could in my thoughts have 
reached unto something better than my God. 
Where, then, I saw that the incorruptible was 
to be preferred to the corruptible, there ought 
I lo seek Thee, and there observe " whenceevil 
itself was," thai is, whence comes the corrup- 
tion by which Thy substance can by no means 
be profaned. For corruption, truly, in no way 
injures our God, — by no will, by fto necessity, 
by no unforeseen t^hance, — because He is God, 
and what He wills is good, and Himself is 
that good ; but lo be corrupted is not good. 
Nor art Thou compelled lo do anything against 
Thy will in that Tliy will is not greater (haa 
Thy power. Bm greater should it be wOT 
Thou Thyself greater than Thyself; for thewiN.' 
and power of God is God Himself. And wlwt| 
can be unforeseen by Thee, who knowest 
things? Nor is there any sort of nature 
Thou knowesi it. And what more should 
say " why that substance which God is sho 
not be comiptibie," seeing ihat if it were so 
could not be God ? 

CHAP. v. — QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE OUT) 
OF EVIL IS REGARD TO CIOD, WHO, HrNCE HB 

THE CTIIEF GOOD, CANNOT BE THE CAUSE I 
E\nL. 

7, And I sought "whence is evil?" M 
sought in an evil way; nor saw I the evil ip n 
very search. And I set in order before tl 
view of my spirit the whole creation, and whj 
ever we can discern in it, such as earth, sea, ai 
stars, trees, living creatures ; yea, and whatevi 
in it we do not see, as the firmament of heave 
all the angels, too, and all the spiritual inl 
ants thereof. But these very beings, as ibouf 
they were bodies, did my fancy dispose in sui 
and such places, and I made one huge mass ( 
all Thy creatures, distinguished according | 
the kinds of bodies. — some of them being n 
bodies, some what I myself had feigned I 
spirits. And this mass I made huge, — not as 
was, which I could not know, but as large aa 
thought well, yel every way finite. But Tl 

Lord, I imagined on every pan environi 
and penetrating it, though every way in&uti 
as if there were a sea everywhere, and on eve 
side through immensity nothing but an inlini 
sea; and it contained within iLself somesponfl 
huge, though finite, so that the sponge wo 
in all its parts be filled from the immeasurs 
sea. So conceived I Thy creation to be it: 
finite, and filled by Thee, the Infinite. / 

1 said. Behold God, and behold what God h 
created ; and God is good, yea, most mightil 
and incorajjarably belter than all these ; but 
He, who is good, hath created them good, ; 



Chap. VI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN; 



105 



behold how He encircleth and filleth them. 
Where, then, is evil, and whence, and how 
crept it in hither? What is its root, and what 
I its seed ? Or hath it no being at all ? Why, 
^ then, do we fear and shun that which hath no 
being ? Or if we fear it needlessly, then surely 
is that fear evil whereby the heart is unnecessa- 
rily pricked and tormented, — and so much a 
greater evil, as we have naught to fear, and yet 
do fear. Therefore either that is evil which we 
fear, or the act of fearing is in itself evil. 
Whence, therefore, is it, seeing that God, who 
is good, hath made all these things good ? He, 
indeed, the greatest and chiefest Good, hath 
created these lesser goods; but both Creator 
and created are all good. Whence is evil ? Or 
was there some evil matter of which He made 
and formed and ordered it, but left something 
in it which He did not convert into good ? But 
why was this? Was He powerless to change 
the whole lump, so that no evil should remain 
in it, seeing that He is omnipotent ? Lastly, 
why would He make anything at all of it, and 
not rather by the same omni potency cause it 
not to be at all ? Or could it indeed exist con- 
trary to His will ? Or if it were from eternity, 
why did He permit it so to be for infinite spaces 
of times in the past, and was pleased so long 
after to make something out of it? Or if He 
wished now all of a sudden to do something, 
this rather should the Omnipotent have accom- 
plished, that this evil matter should not be at 
all, and that He only should be the whole, true, 
chief, and infinite Good. Or if it were not 
good that He, who was good, should not abo 
be the framer and creator of what was good, 
then that matter which was evil being removed, 
and brought to nothing, He might form good 
matter, whereof He might create all things. 
For He would not be omnipotent were He not 
able to create something good without being 
assisted by that matter which had not been cre- 
ated by Himself.^ Such like things did I re- 
volve in my miserable breast, overwhelmed with 
most gnawing cares lest I should die ere I dis- 
covered the truth; yet was the faith of Thy 
, Christ, our Lord and Saviour, as held in the 
Catholic Church, fixed firmly in my heart, 
unformed, indeed, as yet upon many points, 
and diverging from doctrinal rules, but yet my 
mind did not utterly leave it, but every day 
rather drank in more and more of it. 

'^ CHAP. VI. — HE REFUTES THE DIVINATIONS OF 
THE ASTROLOGERS, DEDUCED FROM THE CON- 
STELLATIONS. 

8. Now also had I repudiated the lying divi- 
nations and impious absurdities of the astrolo- 

> See 3d. sec. 7, note, below. 



gers. Let Thy mercies, out of the depth of my 
soul, confess unto thee* for this also, O my 
God. For Thou, Thou altogether, — for who 
else is it that calls us back from the death of all 
errors, but that Life which knows not how to 
die, and the Wisdom which, requiring no light, 
enlightens the minds that do, whereby the uni- 
verse is governed, even to the fluttering leaves 
of trees ? — ^Thou providedst also for my obsti- 
nacy wherewith I struggled with Vindicianus,' 
an acute old man, and Nebridius, a young one 
of remarkable talent; the former vehemently 
declaring, and the latter frequently, though 
with a certain measure of doubt, saying, **That 
no art existed by which to foresee future things, 
but that men's surmises had oftentimes the help 
of luck, and that of many things which they 
foretold some came to pass unawares to the 
predicters, who lighted on it by their oft speak- 
ing. ' * Thou, therefore, didst provide a friend 
for me, who was no negligent consulter of the 
astrologers, and yet not thoroughly skilled in 
those arts, but, as I said, a curious consulter with 
them ; and yet knowing somewhat, whi^h he said 
he had heard from his father, which, how far it 
would tend to overthrow the estimation of that 
art, he knew not. This man, then, by name 
Firminius, having received a liberal education, 
and being well versed in rhetoric, consulted 
me, as one very dear to him, as to what I 
thought on some affairs of his, wherein his 
worldly hopes had risen, viewed with regard to 
his so-called constellations ; and I, who had 
now begun to lean in this particular towards 
Nebridius' opinion, did not indeed decline to 
speculate about the matter, and to tell him what 
came into my irresolute mind, but still added 
that I was now almost persuaded that these 
were but empty and ridiculous follies. Upon 
this he told me that his father had been very 
curious in such books, and that he had a friend 
who was as interested in them as he was him- 
self, who, with combined study and consulta- 
tion, fanned the flame of their affection for 
these toys, insomuch that they would observe 
the moment when the very dumb animals which 
bred in their houses brought forth, and then 
observed the position of the heavens with re- 
gard to them, so as to gather fresh proofs of 
this so-called art. He said, moreover, that his 
father had told him, that at the time his mother 
was about to give birth to him (Firminius), a 
female servant of that friend, of his father's was 
also great with child, which could not be 
hidden from her master, who took care with 
most diligent exactness to know of the birth of 
his very dogs. And so it came to pass that 
(the one for his wife, and the other for his ser- 

« Ps. cvii. 8, yu/g'. 

* See iv. sec. 5, note, above. 



io6 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



(iBOOK 1 



vant, with the most careful observation, calcu- 
lating the (lays and hours, and the smaller 
divisions of the houre) both were delivered at the 
same moment, so that both were compelled to 
allow the very selfsame constellations, even to the 
minutest point, the one for his son. the other 
for his young slave. For so soon as the women 
began to be in travail, they each gave notice 
to the other of what was fallen out in their re- 
spective houses, and had messengers ready to 
despatch to one another so soon as they had 
information of the actual birth, of which they 
had easily provided, each in his own province, 
to give instant intelligence. Thus, then, he 
said, the messengers of the respective parlies 
met one another in such etjual distances from 
either house, that neither of them could discern 
any difference either in the position of the stars 
or other most minute points. And yet Firmi- 
nius, bom in a high estate in his ])arents' house, 
ran his course through the prosperous paths of 
this world, was increased in wealth, and elevated 
to honours ; whereas that slave — the yoke of 
his condition being unrelaxed — continued to 
serve his masters, as Firminius, who knew him, 
informed me. 

9. Upon hearing and believing these things, 
related by so reliable a person, all that resist- 
ance of mine melted away ; and first I endeav- 
oured to reclaim Firminius himself from that 
curiosity, by telling him, that upon inspecting 
his constellations, I ought, were I to foretell 
truly, to have seen in them parents eminent 
among their neighbours, a noble family in its 
own city, good birth, becoming edmation, and 
liberal learning. But if that servant had con- 
sulted me upion the same constellations, since 
they were his also, 1 ought again to tell him, 
likewise truly, to see in them the meanness of 
his origin, the abjectness of his condition, and 
everything else altogether removed from and at 
variance with the former. Whence, then, look- 
ing upon the same constellations, I should, if I 
spoke the truth, speak diverse things, or if I 
spoke the same, speak falsely ; thence assuredly 
was it to be gathered, that whatever, upon con- 
sideration of the constellations, was foretold 
truly, was not by art, but bv chance; and 
whatever falsely, was not from the unskilfulness 
of the art, but the error of chance. 

10. An opening being thus made. 1 ruminated 
within myself on such things, that no one of 
those dotards (who followed such occupations, 
and whom I longed to assail, and with derision 
to confute) might urge against me that Firmi- 
nius had informed me falsely, or his father him : 
I turned my thoughts to those (hat are bom 
twins, who generally come out of the womb so 
near on« to another, that the small distance of 
time between them — how much force 




wtey may contend that it has in the nature a 
Jhings — cannot be noted by human observatitni, 1 
i»r be expressed in those figures which the astral- 1 
jjger is to examine that he may pronounce the \ 
imlh. Nor can they be true ; for, looking into 
the same figures, he must have foretold the same 
of Esau and Jacob,' whereas the same did not 
happen to them. He must therefore speak 
falsely; or if truly, then, looking into the same 
figures, he must not speak the same things. 
Not then by art, but by chance, would hesp«dt 
truly. For Thou, O Lord, most righteous 
Ruler of the univeree, the inquirers and inquirad 
of knowing it not, workest by a hidden inspira- 
tion that theconsultershould hear what, accord- 
ing to the hidden dcscrvings of souls, he ought 
to hear, out of the depth of Thy righteous judg- 
ment, to whom let not man say, " What is thisr' 
or"Whylhat?" Let him not say so, for be 



II. And now, O my Helper, hadst Thou 
freed me from those fetters; and I inquired, 
"Whence is evil?" and found no result. But 
Thou sufferedst me not to be carried away from 
the faith by anyflucluationsof thought, whereby , 
I believed Thee both to exist, and Thy sub- | 
stance to be unchangeable, and that Thou hadst 
a cafe of and wouldesi judge men ; and that 
in Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, and the Holy | 
Scriptures, which the authority of Thy Catholic ( 
Church pressed upon me. Thou hadst planned .1 
the way of man's salvation to that life which is M 
come after this death. These things being ta^ 
and immovcably settled in my mind, I eogo^ 
inquired, "Whence is evil?" What tomientt 
did my travailing heart then endure 1 Whti 
sighs, O my God ! Vet even there were ThtM 
ears open, and 1 knew it not ; and when in sttB- 
ness I sought earnestly, those silent eontritims 
of my soul were strong cries unto Thy mcref. 
No man knoweth, but only Thou, what | 
endured. For what was that which was thencC 
through ray tongue jwured into the ears of mj 
most familiar friends? Did the whole turauft 
of my soul, for which neither time nor speedl' 
was siifRcient, reach them ? Vet went the whole 
into Thine ears, all of which 1 bellowed out ' 
from the sighings of my heart ; and my desire 
was before Thee, and the light of mine eyesvas 
not with me;' for that was within. I without. 
Nor was that in place, but my attention mfl 
directed to things contained in place; but that 
did I find no resting-place, nor did they recei^J 
me in such a way as that I could say, "R '" 



Chap. IX.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



107 



sufficient, it is well ; " nor did they let me turn 
back, where it might be well enough with me. 
For to these things was I superior, but inferior 
to Thee ; and Thou art my true joy when I am 
subjected to Thee, and Thou hadst subjected to 
me what Thou createdst beneath me.* And 
this was the true temperature and middle region 
of my safety, to continue in Thine image, and 
by serving Thee to have dominion over the 
body. But when I lifted myself proudly against 
Thee, and ** ran against the Lord, even on His 
neck, with the thick bosses" of my buckler,* 
even these inferior things were placed above 
me, and pressed upon me, and nowhere was 
there alleviation or breathing space. They 
encountered my sight on every side in crowds 
and troops, and in thought the images of 
bodies obtruded themselves as I was return- 
ing to Thee, as if they would say unto me, 
** Whither goest thou, unworthy and base one? ' ' 
And these things had sprung forth out of my 
wound ; for thou humblest the proud like one 
that is wounded,* and through my own swel- 
ling was I separated from Thee ; yea, my too 
much swollen face closed up mine eyes. 

CHAP. VIII. — BY god's ASSISTANCE HE BY DEGREES 
ARRIVES AT THE TRUTH. 

12. "But Thou, O Lord, shalt endure for 
ever," * yet not for ever art Thou angry with us, 
because Thou dost commiserate our dust and 
ashes ; and it was pleasing in Thy sight to re- 
form my deformity, and by inward stings didst 
I'hou disturb me, that I should be dissatisfied 
until Thou wert made sure to my inward sight. 
And by the secret hand of Thy remedy was my 
swelling lessened, and the disordered and dark- 
ened eyesight of my mind, by the sharp anoint- 
ings of healthful sorrows, was from day to day 
made whole. 

CHAP. IX. — ^HE COMPARES THE DOCTRINE OF THE 
PLATONISTS CONCERNING THE Aop)^ WITH 
THE MUCH MORE EXCELLENT DOCTRINE OF 
CHRISTIANITY. 

13. And Thou, willing first to show me how 
Thou "resistest the proud, but givest grace 
unto the humble,"* and by how great an act of 
mercy Thou hadst pointed out to men the 
path of humility, in that Thy " Word was 

* Man can only control the forces of nature by yielding obedience 
to nature's laws ; and our true joy and safety is only to be found in 
being "subjected" to God, So Augus^tin says in another place 
[De Trin. x. 7), the soul is enjoined to know itself, " in order that 
It may consider itself, and live according to its own nature ; that is, 
seek to be regulated according to its own nature, viz. under Him to 
whom it ougnt to be subject, and above those things to which it is 
to be preferred: under Him by whom it ought to be ruled, above 
those things which it ought to rule." 

* Job Jtv. a6. 

* Fs. Ixnbc. IX, Vulg, 

* P«. di. la. 

* Jas. iv. 6, and 1 Pet. r. 5. 



made flesh" and dwelt among men, — Thou 
procuredst for me, by the instrumentality 
of one inflated with most monstrous pride, 
certain books of the Platonists," translated from 
Greek into Latin.' And therein I read, not in- 
deed in the same words, but to the selfsame 
efl*ect,* enforced by many and divers reasons, 

• ** This," says Watu, " was likely to be the book of Amelius the 
Platonist, who hath indeed this beginning of St. John's Gospel, 
calling the apostle a barbarian." This Amelius was a disciple of 
Plotinu.s, who was the first to develope and formulate the Neo- Pla- 
tonic doctrines, and of whom it is said that he would not have his 
likeness taken, nor be reminded of his birthday, because it would 
recall the existence of the body he so much despised. A popular 
account of the theories of Plotinus, and their connection with the 
doctrines of Plato and of Christianity respectively, will be found in 
Archer Butler's Lectures on Ancitnt Philoxophy, vol. ii. pp. 348- 
358. For a more systematic view of his writings, see Ueberweg's 
History 0/ Phiiosojfrky, sec. 68. Augustin alluc^s again in his Ve 
Vita Beata (sec. 4) to the influence the Platonic writines had on 
him at this time ; and it is interesting to note how in God's provi- 
dence they were drawing him to seelc a fuller knowledge of Him, 
just as in his nineteenth year (book iii. sec. 7, above) the Morten- 
sius of Cicero stimulated.him to the pursuit of wisdom. Thus in 
his experience was exemplified the truth embodied in the saying 
of Clemens Alexandrinus, — " Philosophy led the Greeks to Christ, 
as the law did the Jews." Archbishop Trench, in his Hulsean 
Lectures (lees, i and 3, 1846. "Christ the Desire of all Nations"), 
enters with interesting detail into this question, specially as it re- 
lates to the heathen world. " None," he says in lecture 3, " can 
thoughtfully read the early history of the Church without marking 
how hard the Jewish Christians found it to make their own the true 
idea of a Son of God, as indeed is witnessed by the whole Epistle to 
the Hebrews — how comparatively easy the Gentile converts : how 
the Hebrew Christians were conttniially in danger of sinking down 
into Ebionite heresies, making Christ but a man as other men, re- 
fusing to go on unto perfection, or to realize the truth of His higher 
nature ; while, on the other hand, the genial promptness is as re- 
markable with which the Gentile Church welcomed and embraced 
the offered truth, ' God manifest in the flesh.' We feel that there 
must have been effectual preparations in the latter, which wrought 
its greater readiness for receiving and heartily embracing this truth 
when it arrived." The passage from Amelius the Platonist, re- 
ferred to at the beginning of this note, is examined in Burton's 
Batnpton Lectures, note 90. It has been adverted to by Eu^ebius, 
Theodoret, and perhaps by Augustin in the De Civ. Dei, x. 20, 
quoted in note 2, sec. 25, below. See Kayes' Clement ^ pp. xi6- 

124. 

7 See i. sec. 23, note, above, and also his Lifty in the last vol. of 
the Benedictine edition of his works, for a very fair estimate of his 
knowtedze of Greek. 

• The Neo- Platonic ideas as to the "Word" or Aoyoc, which 
Augustin (i) contrasts during the remainder of this booK with the 
doctrine of the gospel, had its germ in the writings of Plato. The 
Greek term expresses both reason and the expression of reason in 
s)>eech ; and the Fathers frequently illustrate, by reference to this 
connection between ideas and uttered words, the fact that the 
"Word" that was with God had an incarnate existence in the 
world as the " Word" made flesh. By the Logos of the Alexan- 
drian school something very different was meant from the Christian 
doctrine as to the incarnation, of which the above can only betaken 
as a dim illustration. It has been questioned, indeed, whether the 

Ehilosophers, from Plotinus to the Gnostics of the time of St. John, 
elieved the Logos and the supreme God to have in any sense sepa- 
rate "personalities." Dr. Burton, in his BamMon Lectures^ con- 
cludes that they did not (lect. vii. p. 215, and note 93: compare 
Domer, Person of Christy i. 27, Clark) ; and quotes (Jrigen when 
he points out to Celsus, that " while the heathen use the reason of 
God as another term for God Himself, the Chri.«itians use the term 
Logos for the Son of God " Another point of difference which 
appears in Augustin's review of Platonism above, is found in the 
Platonist's discarding the idea of the Lt^s becoming man. This 
the very genius of their philosophy forbade them to hold, since they 
looked on matter as impure. (3) It has been charged against 
Christianity by Cribbon and other sceptical writers, that it has bor- 
rowed lari^cly from the doctrines of Plato ; and it has been said that 
this doctrine of the Logos was taken from them by Justin Mar- 
tyr. This charge, says Burton {ibid. p. 194), " has laid open in its 
supporters more inconsistencies and more misstatements than any 
other which ever has been advanced." Wc have alluded in the 
note to book iii. sec. 8, above, to Justin Hartyr's search after truth. 
~He endeavoured to find it successively in the Stoical, the Peripa- 
tetic, the Pythagoiean, and the Platonic schools; and he appears 
to have th<jught as highly of Plato's philosophy as did Augus- 
tin. He docs not, however, fail to criticise his doctrine wTien 
inconsistent with Christianity (see Burton, ibid, notes 18 and 86). 
Justin Martyr has apparently been chosen for attack as being the 
earliest of the post-apostolic Fathers. Burton, howevei;, shows that 
Ignatius, who knew St. John, and was bishop of Antioch thirty 
years before his death, used precisely the same expression as 
applied to Christ {ibid, p. 304). This would appear to be a conelu- 



io8 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VH 



that, " In the beginning was the Word, and the 
Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
The same was in the beginning with God. All 
things were made by Him ; and without Him 
was not any thing made that was made.'* That 
which was made by Him is "life; and the life 
was the light of men. And the light shineth in 
darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it 
not.*'* And that the soul of man, though it 
" bears witness of the light," ' yet itself ** is not 
that light ; ' but the Word of God, being God, 
is that true light that lighteth every man that 
Cometh into the world."* And that ** He was 
in the world, and the world was mack by Him, 
and the world knew Him nolL,*'\_But that 
" He came unto His own, aro His own re- 
ceived Him not." But as/roany as received 
Him, to them gave He ^jibwer to become the 
sons of God, even to them that believe on His 
name.*' ^ This I did not read there,/ 

14. In like manner, I read there that God 
the Word was bom not of flesh, nor of blood, 
nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the 
flesh, but of God. CSut^t '' the Word was 
made flesh, and dwelt^rtfiong us,"® I read not 
there. } For I discovered in those books that it 
was in many and divers ways said, that the Son 
was in the form of the Father, and ** thought it 
not robbery to be equal with^ God," ibr that 
naturally He was the same substance. (But that 
He emptied Himself, "and took upSff Him 
the form of a servant, and was made in the like- 
ness of men : and being found in fashion as a 
man, He humbled Himself, and became obedi- 
ent unto death, even the death of the cross. 
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him " 

sive answer to this objection. (3) It may be well to note here Bur- 
ton's general conclusions as to the employment of this term La/^-os 
in St. John, since it occurs frequently in this part (»f the Confessions. 
Every one must have observed St. John's use of the term is peculiar 
as compared with the other apostles, but it is not always borne in 1 
mind tnat a j^eneration probably elapsed between the date of his ' 
eospel and that of the other apostolic writings. In this interval the 
Gnostic heresy had made great advances ; and it would appear that 
John, finding this term Li^os prevalent when he wrote, iniused into 
It a nobler meaning, and pointed out to those being led away i>y 
this heresy that there was indeed One who might h« called " the 
Word" — One who was not, indeed, (Jod"s mind, or as the word 
that comes from the mouth and passes away, but One who, while 
He had been " made flesh" like unto us, was yet co-eternal with 
God. " You will perceive," .says Archer Rutler {Ancient Philoso- 
phy, vol. ii. p. 10^, " how natural, or rather how necessary, is such 
A process, when you remember that this is exactly what every 
teacher must do who speaks of God to a heathen ; he adopts the 
term, but he refines and exalts its meaning. Nor, indeed, is the 
procedure different in any use whatever of language in sacred 
senses and for sacred purposes. It has licen justly remarked, by 
JI think) Isaac Casaubon, that the principle of all these adaptations 
IS expressed in the sentence of St. Paul, ^O** ayvoovvtt^ tvatfitiTt^ 
TowTOK iyia «arayycAAw v^t:*." On the charge against Christian- 
it^' of having borrowed from heatheni«4m, reference may be made to 
1 rench's HuheaH Lectures, lect. i. (i8a6) ; and for the sources of 
Gnosticism, and St. John's treatment of heresies as to the '* Word," 
lects. ii. and v. in Mansel's Gnostic Heresies will be consulted with 
profit. 

1 John i. 1-5. 

« Ibid. i. 7, 8. 

• See note, sec. 33, below. 

• John i. 9. 

• Ibid. i. 10. 

• Ibid. i. II. 
^ Ibid. \. 12. 
4 Ibid. i. 14. 



from the dead, ''and given Him a name above 
every name ; that at the name of Jesus every 
knee should bow, of things in heaven, and 
things in earth, and things under the earth; 
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father;"* 
those boofe have not^ For that before all 
times, and above all flmes, Thy only-begotten 
Son remaineth unchangeably co-etemal with 
Thee ; and that of ** His fulness " souls receive,** 
that they may be blessed ; and that by partici- 
pation of the wisdom remaining in them they 
are renewed, that they may be wise, is there, 
(^t that **in due 'time Christ died for the 
ungodly," " and that Thou sparedst not Thine 
only Son. but deliveredst Him up for us all," is 
not there. ; *' Because Thou hast hid these things 
from the^wise and prudent, and hast revealed 
them unto babes;"" that they ** that labour 
and are heavy laden" might "come" unto 
Him and He might refresh them," because He 
is **meek and lowly in heart."" ** The meek 
will He guide in judgment ; and the meek will 
He teach His way ;" " looking upon our humil- 
ity and our distress, and forgiving all our sins." 
But such as are puffed up with the elation of 
would-be sublimer learning, do not hear Him 
saying, ''.Learn of Me; for I am meek and 
lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto your 
souls. " " * * Because that, when they knew God, 
they glorified Him not as God, neither were 
thankful ; but became vain in their imagina- 
tions, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
Professing themselves to be wise, they became 
fools."" 

15. And therefore also did I read there, that 
they had changed the glory of Thy incorrupti- 
ble nature into idols and divers forms, — ** into 
an image made like to corruptible man, and to 
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping 
things,"'* namely, into that Egyptian food* 
for which Esau lost his birthright ; " for that 
Thy first-born j)eople worshipped the head of a \ 
four-footed beast instead of Thee, turning back ' 
in heart towards Egypt, and prostrating Thy / 
image — their own soul — before the image "of *' 

» Phil. ii. 6-11. • I 

1" John i. 16. \ 

11 Kom. v. 6. 
1* Rom, viii. 3a. 
»•■' Matt. xi. 25. 
" Ibid. ver. 28. 
IS Ibid. ver. 29. 

1** Ps. XXV. 9. • 

^' Ibid. ver. 18. 

•* Matt. xi. 29. 

J^ Rom. i. 21, 22. 

2^ Ibid, i. 23. 

*i In the Benedictine edition we have reference to Augustin's in Pt. 
xlvi. 6, where he says : " We find the Icntile is an I^yptian food. 
for it abounds in Egypt, whence the Alexandrian lentiTe isesteemea 
so as to be brought to our countrj', as if it grew not here. Esau, by 
desiring Egyptian food, lost his birthright ; and so the Jewish peo- 
ple, of whom it is said they turned back in heart to Eg>'pt, in a 
manner craved for lentUes, and lost their birthright." See Ex. zvL 
3; Num. xi. 5. 

» Gen. XXV. 33, 34, 



^HAP. X.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



109 



m ox that eateth grass."* These things found 
! there ; but I fed not on them. For it pleased 
rhee, O Lord, to take away the reproach of 
liminution from Jacob, that the elder should 
«rve the younger ; ' and Thou hast called the 
jentiles into Thine inheritance. And I had 
:ome unto Thee from among the Gentiles, and 
[ strained after that gold which Thou willedst 
Thy people to take from Egypt, seeing that 
vheresoever it was it was Thine.* And to the 
Athenians Thou saidst by Thy apostle, that in 
rhee ** we live, and move, and have our being ; ' ' 
is one of their own poets has said.* And verily 
hese books came from thence. But I set not 
ny mind on the idols of Egypt, whom they 
ninistered to with Thy gold,* ** who changed 
he truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and 
erved the creature more than the Creator.'* • 

.HAP. X. DIVINE THINGS ARE THE MORE 

CT-EARLV MANIFESTED TO HIM WHO WITHDRAWS 
INTO THE RECESSES OF HIS HEART. 

16. And being thence warned to return to 
nyself, I entered into my inward self, Thou 

1 Ps. cvi. ao ; Ex. xxxii. x-6. 
s Rom. ix. 12. 

* Similarly, as to all truth bein^ God's, Justin Martyr says : 
' Whatever things were rightly said among all meir are the prop- 
rty of us Christians " (A/o/. li. 13). In mis he parallels what 
lugustin claims in another place {Df Doctr. Christ, ii. a8) : " Let 
very good and true Christian understand that wherever truth may 
te found, it belong to his Master." Origen has a similar allusion 
o that of Augustm above {E^. ad Grtgor. vol. i. 30), but echoes 
he experience of our erring nature, when he says that the gold of 
Sgypt more frequently becomes transformed into an idol, than into 
tn ornament for the tabernacle of God. Augustin gives us at length 
lis views on this matter in his De Doctr. Christ, ii. 60, 61 : " If 
hose who are called philosophers, and especially the Platonists, 
lave said aught that is true and in harmonj^ with our faith, we are 
lot only not to shrink from it, but to claim it for our own use from 
hose who have unlawful possession of it. For, as the E^ptians 
uui not onlv the idols and heavy burdens which the people of Israel 
lated and ned from, but also vessels and ornaments of gold and siU 
'er, and garments, which the same people when going out of Egypt 
appropriated to themselves, designmg them for a better use, — not 
loing this on their own authority, but by the command of God, the 
i^yptians themselves, in their ignorance, providinz them with 
hmgs which they themselves were not making a good use of (Ex. 
ii. ax, aa. xii. 35, 36); in the same way all oranches of heathen 
earning nave not only false and superstitious fancies and heavy 
urdens of unnecessary toil, which every one of us, when going out 
tnder the leadership of Christ from the fellowship of the neatnen, 
lUf^t to abhor and avoid, but they contain also Itoeral instruction, 
rhich is better adapted to the use of the truth, and some most ex- 
client precepts of morality ; and some truths in reeard even to the 
rorship of the One God are found among them. Now these are, so 
o spesuc, their gold and silver, which they did not create them- 
elves, but dug out of the mines of God's providence which are 
;very where scattered abroad, and are perversely and unlawfully 
prostituting to the worship of devils. These, therefore, the Chris- 
ian, when he separates himself in spirit from the miserable fellow- 
hip of these men, ought to take away from them, and to devote to 
heir proper use in preaching the gospel. Their garments, abo, — 
hat is, human institutions such as are adapted to that intercourse 
nth men which is indispensable in this life, — we must take and 
urn to a Christian use. And what else have many good and faith- 
til men amonz our brethren done ? Do we not see with what a 
luantity of eold and silver, and garments, Cyprian, that most per- 
iuasive teacher and most blessed martyr, was loaded when he came 
nit of Egypt? How much Lactantius brought with him ! And 
/ictorinus, and Optatus, and Hilary, not to speak of living men! 
How much Greeks out of number have borrowed ! And, prior to 
dl these, that most faithful servant of God, Moses, had clone the 
iame thing; for of him it is written that he was learned in all the 
visdom oTthe Egyptians (Acts vii. 22). . . . For what was done at 
the time of the exodus was no doubt a type prefiguring what hap- 
pens now." 

* Acts xvii. a8. 
» HoMa it 8. 

* Rom. L 25. 



leading me on ; and I was able to do it, for 
Thou wert become my helper. And I entered, 
and with the eye of my soul (such as it was) 
saw above the same eye of my soul, above my 
mind, the Unchangeable Light.^ Not this com- 
mon light, which all flesh may look upon, nor, 
as it were, a greater one of the same kind, as 
though the brightness of this should be much 
more resplendent, and with its greatness fill up 
all things. Not like this was that light, but 
different, yea, very different from all these. 
Nor was it above my mind as oil is above water, 
nor as heaven above earth j but above it was, 
because it made me, and I below it, because I 
was made by it. He who knows the Truth 
knows that Light; and he that knows it 
knoweth eternity. Love knoweth it. O Eter- 
nal Truth, and true Love, and loved Eternity ! • 
Thou art my God; to Thee do I sigh both 
night and day. When I first knew Thee, Thou 
liftedst me up, that I might see there was that 
which I might see, and that yet it was not I 
that did see. And Thou didst beat back the 
infirmity of my sight, pouring forth upon me 
most strongly Thy beams of light, and I trem- 
bled with love and fear ; and I found myself to 
be far off from Thee, in the region of dissimi- 
larity, as if I heard this voice of Thine from on 
high : "I am the food of strong men ; grow, 
and thou shalt feed upon me ; nor shalt thou 
convert me, like the food of thy flesh, into thee, 
but thou shalt be converted into me." And I 
learned that Thou for iniquity dost correct man, 
and Thou dost make my soul to consume away 
like a spider.* And I said, " Is Truth, there- 
fore, nothing because it is neither diffused 
through space, finite, nor infinite?" And 
Thou criedst to me from afar, ** Yea, verily, * I 
AM THAT I AM.* " *° And I heard this, as things 

7 Not the " corporeal brightness " which as a Manichee he had 
believed in, and to which reference has been made in iii. sees, xo, 
la, iv. sec. 3, and .sec. a, above. The Christian belief he indicates 
in his De Trin. viii. 2 : " God is Light (x John i. 5), not in such 
way that these eyes see, but in such way as the heart sees when it 



is said, ' He is Truth.' " See also note x, sec. 23, above. 

*If we knew not God, he says, we could not love Him {De Trin. 
viii. la) ; but in language very similar to that above, he tells us 
*' we are men, created in the image of our Creator, whose eternity 
is true, and whose truth is eternal : whose love is eternal and true, 
and mJKo Himself is the eternal, true, and adorable Trinity, without 
confusion, without separation" {-De Civ. Dei, xi. aS) ; God, then, 
as even the Platonists hold, being the principle of all knowledge. 
" Let Him," he concludes, in his De Civ. Det (viii. 4), " be sought 
in whom all things are secured to us, let Him be discovered in 
whom all truth becomes certain to us, let Him be loved in whom all 
becomes right to us." 

^ Ps. xxxix. II. Vuig;. » 

w Ex. iii. 14. Augustin, when in his De Civ. /)« (viii. ix, la) he 
makes reference to this text, leans to the belief, from certain paral- 
lels between Plato's doctrines and those of the word of God, that 
he may have derived information concerning the Old Testament 
Scriptures from an interpreter when in Egypt. He says : ** The 
most striking thing in this connection, and that which most of all 
inclines me almost to assent to the opinion that Plato was not igno- 
rant of those writings, is the answer which was given to the ques- 
tion elicited from the holy Moses when the words of God were con- 
veyed to him by the angel ; for when he asked what was the name 
of that God who was commanding him to go and deliver the 
Hebrew people out of Egypt, this answer was given : * I am who 
am : and thou shalt say to the children of Israel, He who is sent 
me unto you ; ' as though, compared with Him that truly i>, because 



no THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Book VIL 



are heard in the heart, nor was there room for therefore, as they are, they are good ; therefore 

doubt ; and I should more readily doubt that I whatsoever is, is good. That evil, then, which I 

live than that Truth is not, which is "clearly sought whence it was, is not any substance; for 

seen, being understood by the things that are were it a substance, it would be good. For 

made.*** either it would be an incorruptible substance, 

and so a chief good, or a corruptible substance, 

CHAP. XI. — ^THAT CREATURES ARE MUTABLE AND which unlcss it were good it could not be ctor- 

GOD ALONE IMMUTABLE. rupted. I pcrccivcd, therefore, and it was made 

17. And I viewed the other things below ^|^ ^^ ""5'/^^ '^^^" ^^^ make all things 
Thee, and perceived that they neither altogether S^' ""^^ !f ^^^^ ^^ f^"^ ^i^i'^'^^ 
are, nor altogether are not. They are, indeed, {J^^, "^^^ ^^ ^^^ ' and because a^l that Thou 
beckuse they are from Thee; but are not hast made are not equal therefore all thmgs ax^ 

because they are not what Thou art. For thai ^^ ^"^^'^^^"f^^Ll ^ "^ ^""r^ '^^a'^X 

truly is which remains immutably.' It is good, f^^^' ""^'y «^«' ^^^ ^^ ^^ °^^ ^* 

then, for me to cleave unto God,» for if I remain ^^^^^ ^^^^ S^^' 

not in Him, neither shall I in myself; but He, 

remaining in Himself, reneweth all things.* And chap, xiil — rr is meet to praise the creator 

Thou art the Lord my God, since Thou stand- for the good things WHicrf are biade ik 

est not in need of my goodness.' heaven and earth. 

19. And to Thee is there nothing at all evil, 

chap. XII.— whatever things the good god and not only to Thee, but to Thy whole crca- 

HAS CREATED ARE VERY GOOD. jjon ; bccausc there is nothing without which 

18. And it was made clear unto me that those can break in, and mar that order which Thou 
things are good which yet are corrupted, which, bast appointed it. But in the parts thereof, 
neither were they supremely good, nor unless some things, because they harmonize not with 
they were good, could be corrupted ; because if others, are considered evil ; ^ whereas those very 
supremely good, they were incorruptible, and things harmonize with others, and are good, and 
if not good at all, there was nothing in them to in themselves are good. And all these things 
be corrupted. For corruption harms, but, un- which do not harmonize together harmonize 
less it could diminish goodness, it could not with the inferior part which we call earth, hav- 
harm. Either, then, corruption harms not, ing its own cloudy and windy sky concordant 

I which cannot be; or, what is most certain, all to it. Far be it from me, then, to say, " These 
which is corrupted is deprived of good. But things should not be." For should I see noth- 
if they be deprived of all good, they will cease ing but these, I should indeed desire better ; but 
to be. For if they be, and cannot be at all cor- yet, if only for these, ought I to praise Thee ; for 
rui)ted, they will become better, because they that Thou art to be praised is shown from the 
sliall remain incorruptibly. And what more ''earth, dragons, and all deeps; fire, and hail ; 
monstrous than to assert that those things snow, and vapours ; stormy winds fulfilling Thy 
which have lost all their goodness are made word ; mountains, and all hills ; fruitful trees, 
better ? Therefore, if they shall be deprived and all cedars ; beasts, and all cattle ; creeping 
of all good, they shall no longer be. So long, things, and flying fowl ; kings of the earth, and 

all people ; princes, and all judges of the earth ; 

both young men and maidens; old men and 

He is unchangeable, thoM things which have been created muuble ^u;U-l« »» .^..«io-«* TV.., »^«r«^ D,.!- ...U^«« << ^^.^ 
arf not,-a tnith which Plato vehemently held, and most diligently Children, praiSC 1 hy UamC. bUt WhCn, tTOm 

commended. And i know not whether t^issenumcnt is anywhere the hcaVCnS,'* thcSC praise ThcC, praise Thee, 
to be found m the books of those who were before Plato, unless in y, i ,. . .1 « • 1 n n rA% ., % •• 

.1 . I 1 1 :. :.. :,j < i ^~. ...k^ -. . I .u_.. -u-i. »_ /-viii* I IrkH •» \r\ fn<> n*»inpnl-c oil I n\r •• onrrAle " 



that book where it is said, ' I am who am ; and thou sh'alt sav to OUr God, '' in the heights,*' all Thy *' angels 

the children of Israel, Who m sent me unto you.' But we need not 11 npu << Knctc '* << Qiin anH monn ** all vp cfare 

determine from what source he learned these things, -whether it ^" ^ ny nOSlS, SUn ano mOOn, ail yC StaTS 

was from the books of the ancients who preceded him, or, as is more and light, "the hcaVCUS of hcaVCnS,'* and the 

likely, from the words of the apostle (Rom. i. ao), ' Because that .. . *.i. 1. u u *.u u^ >> _ • »m- 

which is known of God has been manifested among them, for God WatCrS that t)e aOOVC the heaVCnS, praiSC lily 



hath manifested it to them For His invisi^ble thincs from the ere- name.* I did nOt nOW dcsirC bcttCr thingS, 

ation of the world are clearly seen, bcmg understood by those thmgs i-i. r w i«ii 

which have been made, also His eternal power and Godhead.' "— becaUSC I WaS thinking Of all ; and With a better 

^\ R?m:^''i;.'" "' "* judgment I reflected that the things above were 

2 Therefore, he argues, is God called the I AM (DeNai. Boni, better than thoSC bclow, but that all Were better 

10) ; for otHttis tnuta/to factt non esse quod erat. Similarly, we .i , 1 i_ 1 

find him speaking in his />r Mor. Manick. (c. i.) : " For that exists than thOSC aOOVe alonC. 
in the highest sense of the word which continues always the same, 

which is throughout like itself, which cannot in any part be cor- 

rupted or changed, which is not subject to time, which admits of 

no variation in its present as compared with its former condition. ^ Gen i. 31, and Ecdus. xxxtx. 21. Evil, with Augustin, is a 

This is existence in its true sense." See also note 3, p. 158. ** privation of good." See iii. sec. la, note, above. 

' Ps. Ixxiii. 28. ^ See v. sec. 2, note i, above, where Augustin illustrates the exiat- 

Wisd. vii. 27. ence of good and evil by the lights and shades in a painting, etc. 

Ps. xvi. a. • Pi. cxlviii. 1-12. 



Chap. XVII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



Ill 



CHAP. XIV. — BEING DISPLKASED WITH SOME PART 

OF god's creation, he conceives of two 

ORIGINAL SUBSTANCES. 

20. There is no wholeness in them whom 
aught of Thy creation displeaseth; no more 
than there was in me, when many things which 
Thou madest displeased me. And, because my 
soul dared not be displeased at my God, it 
would not suffer aught to be Thine which dis- 
pleased it. Hence it had gone into the opinion 
of two substances, and resisted not, but talked 
foolishly. And, returning thence, it had made 
to itself a god, through infinite measures of all 
space ; and imagined it to be Thee, and placed 
it in its heart, and again had become the tem- 
ple of its own idol, which was to Thee an abom- 
ination. But after Thou hadst fomented the 
head of me unconscious of it, and closed mine 
eyes lest they should " behold vanity," * I ceased 
from myself a little, and my madness was lulled 
to sleep ; and I awoke in Thee, and saw Thee 
to be ii^nite, though in another way ; and this 
sight was not derived from the fiesh. 

CHAP. XV. — WHATEVER IS, OWES ITS BEING TO 

GOD. 

21. And I looked back on other things, and 
I perceived that rt was to Thee they owed their 
being, and that they were all bounded in Thee ; 
but in another way, not as being in space, but 
because Thou boldest all things in Thine hand 
in truth : and all things are true so far as they 
have a being ; nor is there any falsehood, unless 
that which is not is thought to be. And I saw 
that all things harmonized, not with their places 
only, but with their seasons also. And that 
Thou, who only art eternal, didst not begin to 
work after innumerable sptaces of times ; for that 
all spaces of times, both those which have passed 
and which shall pass, neither go nor come, save 
through Thee, working and abiding.' 

CHAP. XVI. — EVIL ARISES NOT FROM A SUBSTANCE, 
BUT FROM THE PERVERSION OF THE WILL. 

22. And I discerned and found it no marvel, 
that bread which is distasteful to an unhealthy 
palate is pleasant to a healthy one ; and that the 
light, which is painful to sore eyes, is delightful 
to sound ones. And Thy righteousness dis- 
pleaseth the wicked ; much more the viper and 
little worm, which Thou hast created good, 
fitting in with inferior parts of Thy creation ; 
with which the wicked themselves also fit in, the 
more in proportion as they are unlike Thee, 
but with the superior creatures, in proportion 
as they become like to Thee.' And I inquired 
what iniquity was, and ascertained it not to be 

1 Pft. cxix. 37. 

* Sw xi. Mcca. 15, 16, 26. etc., below. 

*See V. ICC 2, note i, above. 



a substance, but a perversion of the will, bent 
aside from Thee, O God, the Supreme Substance, 
towards these lower things, and casting out its 
bowels,* and swelling outwardly. 

CHAP. XVII. — ^ABOVE HIS CHANGEABLE MIND, HE 
DISCOVERS THE UNCHANGEABLE AUTHOR OF 
TRUTH. 

23. And I marvelled that I now loved Thee, 
and no phantasm instead of Thee. And yet I 
did not merit to enjoy my God, but was trans- 
ported to Thee by Thy beauty, and presently 
torn away from Thee by mine own weight, 
sinking with grief into these inferior things. 
This weight was carnal custom. Yet was there 
a remembrance of Thee with me ; nor did I any 
way doubt that there was one to whom I might 
cleave, but that I was not yet one who could 
cleave unto Thee ; for that the body which is 
corrupted presseth down the soul, and the 
earthly dwelling weigheth down the mind which 
thinketh upon many things.* And most certain 
I was that Thy *' invisible things from the crea- |^ 
tion of the world are clearly seen, being under- ji 
stood by the things that are made, even Thy 
eternal power and Godhead.'* • For, inquiring 
whence it was that I admired the beauty of bodies 
whether celestial or terrestrial, and what sup- 
ported me in judging correctly on things muta- 
ble, and pronouncing, "This should be thus, 
this not," — inquiring, then, whence I so judged, 
seeing I did so judge, I had found the imchange- 
able and true eternity of Truth, above my 
changeable mind. And thus, by degrees, I 
passed from bodies to the soul, which makes 
use of the senses of the body to perceive ; and 
thence to its inward^ faculty, to which the bod- 
ily senses represent outward things, and up to 
which reach the capabilities of beasts ; and 
thence, again, I passed on to the reasoning 
faculty,' unto which whatever is received from 

* Ecclus. X. 9. Commenting on this passage of the Apocrypha 
(ZV Afiu. vi. 40^, he says, that while the soul's happiness and life is 
in God, " what is to go into outer things, but to cast out its invMrd 
Aarts, that is, to place itself far from God — not by distance of place, 
out by tlie affection of the mind? " 

5 wisd. ix. 15. 

* Rom. i. ao. 
7 See above, sec. 10. 
> Here, and more explicitly in sec. 35, we have before us what 

has been called the " trichotomy " of man. This doctrine Au|{ustin 
does not deny in theory, but appears to consider {£)* Animas iv. 33; 
it prudent to overlook m practice. The biblical view of psychology 
may well be considered here not only on its own account, but as 
enabling us clearly to apprehend this passage and that which follows 
it. It IS difficult to understand how any one can doubc that St. 
Paul, when speaking in i Thess. v. 23, of our ** */fW/, soul, and 
body being preserved unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," 
implies a belief in a kind of trinitjr in man. And it is very necessary 
to the undemtanding of other Scriptures that we should realize what 
special attributes pertain to the soul and the ^irit respectively. It 
may be said, generally, that the sdul (^x^) ^ ^^^ passionate and 
affectionate nature which is common to us and the inferior creatures, 
while the spirit (vK<0|ta) is the higher intellectual nature which is 
peculiar to man. Hence our Lord in His agony in the earden 
says (Matt. xxvi. 38), " My soul is exceeding sorron/ul — the 
soul being liable to emotions of pleasure and pain. In the same 
passage (ver 41) be says to the apostles who had slept during His 
great agony, " The SPiRrr indeed is willingt but the fliesh is weak," 
so that the spirit is the seat of the will. And that the spirit is also 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book Tit 



the senses of the body is referred to be judged, 
which also, finding itself to be variable in me, 
raised itself np to its own intelligence, and from 
.habit drew away my thoughts, withdrawing it- 
self from the crowds of contradictory phan- 
tasms; that so it might find out that light' by 
which it was besprinkled, when, without all 
doubting, it cried out, " that the unchangeable 
was to be preferred before the changeable;" 
whence also it knew that unchangeable, which, 
unless it had in some way known, it could have 
had no sure ground for preferring it to the 
changeable. And thus, with the flash of a 
trembling glance, it arrived at that which is. 
And then 1 saw Thy invisible things understood 



'■ What 



iwah the ihin 



ifCkolki 



but ibc Spirit of God," J 

Sflail bsirclh wiuw oitli 
G«)." KiiiBipdrtanlion 
■pccUl iignlAuDCc, ai did 

f^m ihi Tiehrew through _ 

in MbLicaL tuwuue (pcc Biihop Peanon'i 
U> Btiiitm oTtha UCX.) ituKli for ou 
workUv (URDUiuUnB and liaMlily ui le 
k ii nM, " The Wbid vu made Beth," 
lent u, "The Word pul on human naiu 



MfiHl „/ man It 

(Rom, vlU. .6), 



.;^-<^d;« 

I the wonl-'Acsh " l*a)i{)liai 
. ...im body. The word coma (c 
Hcllcoinic Utcck a( the LXX., i 




- -gHibieci 

rb.eaiiial Ih^luiiia, il. 4 ("TIk TmE and Valic Trich- 
aaxBi"',: OlahaUMo, i^uicmla Th/oiogkt. iv. (■■ l>e Trich- 
DtoiBLa-'); aodcc. 1,17. and >e u( R. W. ¥.yxm- Minhlry i/ llu 
Bnly, when Ihi lufajcci a dimiucd with Ihou^tfiilnEH and apir- 
Ltuai jnai^t, Tha maiter ii aliio treated of in Uu InuoductDiy 
chapten of Schllitr. Pkilaisfky d/ Ufr. 

■ Thai lichi irhlch illuminei Ox loiil, he le)li ui in hli ZV Cm. 
milM. (jiU; ji). la God Rlmieir, ftain whiMn all light i^jincih: and. 
lhou|^ cnaied In Hia imaEe and lUeencM, when it triea to du- 
MTcr VAta^^filal infirmSali, il minai valtl. In kc 13, above, 
■peaking of Plauniini, he dacribn it a& huldlns " thai the loul of 
man, ihouah it ■ bean arilneia oT the Li^t.' yet iI>eU ■ it not Ihal 
LiKht.' " In hit Dt Ov. D<i, a. a, he quota from Plolmua (men- 
tioned in note a, aec. 13, above) in regard to the Plalunlc doctrine 

inB (HI PJaU, Rpealedlv and llruntly aueiti thai not eien Ihe uul, 
which they believe lobe Ihe aouTuf the world, derive* Iti blcBEd- 

h dialina Fram ii and cnaled K, and by vhoae inlellieble illnmlna- 
tion it eniDya Light In things Intelligible. He aba compaRt those 
■itirhual thLnp to the vaat and conaplcunuii beavenly bodfea. as if 
Uod were Ihe inn, and the loul the moon : for they tupprne that [he 
■HUB derlvet lu light [rani Ihe uin. 7'hai greai Plaianiai, there- 
Aiie.aajri that the tadonal aoul, or rather the jnlellectuai uul,— 
in which clau he eonprehendi (he hhiIi of the bleated Immociala 

Creator of the worid' and lh^° imil'^ieiirand'^ that t W heavenly 
tf^Et derive their bleMcd tilb.and the Light of truth, from the lame 
iaurceaaDUTaelvea.Bffreeing with the gc^pel where we fcad, ' There 

for a wlintM, to bear «llne» of thai IJght, ihai ihrouoh Him all 
might believe. He was not that Light, but that he migbl bear wit- 
neia uf the Light, 'llial wai the true Light, which lighleth every 
L k;_.. .1. ,j. (^ohni.,£J9);-«dl.llnction which 

r avowi wheTi°he'de- 
I received of Hl< ful- 

I'l being ibe Father of 



, Ihe world- (John i.E, 
aid^erallanarorlnielle; 



anot'her. the true Liehi. I'liis Joh 
Uveri hit wicnen [^Aid. t«) : ■ We 



by the things that are made.' But I was not 
able to fix my gaze thereon ; and my infirmity 
being beaten back, I was thrown again on my 
accustomed habits, carrying along with me 
naught but a loving memory thereof, and an 
appetite for what I had, as it were, smelt the 
odour of, but was not yet able to eat. 



24. And I sought a way of acquiring strength 
sufficient to enjoy Thee ; biit I found it not 
until I embraced that " Mediator between God 
and man, the man Christ Jesus,"' " whotsover 
all, God blessed for ever,"* calling unto me, 
and saying, " I am the way, the truth, and the 
life,"' and mingling that food which I was • 
unable to receive with our flesh. For "the ■ 
Word was made flesh,"* that Thy wisdom, by; - 
which Thou createdst all things, might providej 
milk for our infancy. For I did not grasp my 
Lord Jesus, — I, though humbled, grasped not 
the humble One ;' nor did 1 know what lesson 
that infirmity of His would teach us. For Thy 
Word, the Eternal Truth, pre-eminent above 
the higher parts of Thy creation, raises up 
those that are stibject unto Itself; but in this 
lower world built for Itself *a humble habit- 
ation of our clay, whereby He intended to 
abase from themselvessuch as would !« subjected 
and bring them over unto Himself, allaying 
their swelling, and fostering their love; to the 
end that they might go on no further in self- 
confidence, but rather should become weak, 
seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by 
taking our "coats of skins;"' and wearied, 
might cast themselves down upon It, and It 
rising, might hft them up. 

CHAP. XIX. — HE DOES NOT YET FULLY UNDER- 
STAND THE SAYING OF JOHN, THAT "THE 
WORD WAS MADE FLE.SH." 

25. But I thought differently, thinking only 
of my Lord Christ as of a man of excellent 
wisdom, to whom no man could be equalled; 
especially foe that, being wonderfully bom of a 
virgin. He seemed, through the divine care for 
us, to have attained so great authority of leader- 
ship, — for an example of contemning temporal 
things for the obtaining of immortality. But 
what mystery there was in, "The Word was 



lymbulifc themonaTiiy to which nur -,--. , 

by bdn^ deprived of the tree of life (Ke iv. hc. 15, note 
and in hii EnMrr. in Pi. (ciii. i, SI. he lay. they are th^ 
icai iaaunudi ai the iklo ia only taken fram aTiiwaaif whei 



fmiumily raakB ihue " coat! of ikin" 
»^mb^ 



Cbap.XX.] 



tHE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



"3 



made flesh,"* I could not even imagine. Only 
I had learnt out of what is delivered to U3Jui 
writing of Him, that He did eat, drink, sleep, 
walk, rejoice in spirit, was sad, and discoursed ; 
that flesh alone did not cleave unto Thy Word, but 
with the human soul and body. All know thus 
who know the unchangeableness of Thy Word, 
which I now knew as well as I could, nor did I 
at all have any doubt about it. For, now to 
move the limbs of the body at will, now not ; 
now to be stirred by some affection, now not ; 
now by signs to enunciate wise sayings, now to 
keep silence, are properties of a soul and mind 
subject to change. And should these things be 
falsely written of Him, all the rest would risk 
the imputation, nor would there remain in those 
books any saving faith for the human race. 
Since, then, they were written truthfully, I 
acknowledged a perfect man to be in Christ — 
not the body of a man only, nor with the body 
a sensitive soul without a rational, but a very 
man ; whom, not only as being a form of truth, 
but for a certain great excellency of human 
nature and a more perfect participation of wis- 
dom, I decided was to be preferred before 
others. But Alypius imagined the Catholics to 
believe that God was so clothed with flesh, ^hat, 
besides God and flesh, there was no soul in 
Christ, and did not think that a human mind 
was ascribed to Him. And, because He was 
thoroughly persuaded that the actions which 
were recorded of Him could not be performed 
except by a vital and rational creature, he 
moved the more slowly towards the Christian 
faith. But, learning afterwards that this was the 
error of the Apollinarian heretics,' he rejoiced 

1 We have already seen, in note x, sec. 13, above, how this text 
(i) runs counter to Flatonic beliefs as to the Lofos. The following 
passage from Augustin's De Chi. Dei, x. 29, is worth putting on 
record in thb connection : — "Are ye ashamed to be corrected ? 
This is the vice of the proud. It is, forsooth, a de^adation for 
learned men to pass from the school of Plato to the discipleship of 
Christ, who by His Spirit taught a fisherman to think and to say. 
' In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and 
die Word was God. The same was in the begtnnigg with God. 
All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing 
made that was made. In Him was life ; and the life was the light 
of men. And the light shineth in darkness : and the darkness com- 
prehended it not' (^hn i. 1-5). The old saint Simplicianus^ after- 
wards Bishop of Milan, used to tell me that a certain Platonist was 
in the habit of saying that this openinc passage of the holy Gospel 
entitled, ' Accordmz to John,' should be written in letters of gold, 
and hung up \n. all churches in the most conspicuous place. But 
the proud scorn to take God for their Master^ because ' the Word 
was made flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1. 14). So that with 
these miserable creatures it is not enough that tney are sick, but 
they boast of their sickness, and are ashamed of the medicine which 
cotud heal them. And doing so, they secure not elevation, but a 
more disastrous fall." lliis text, too. as Irenasus has remarked, (2) 
entirely opposes the false teaching of tne Docetet, who, as their name 
imports, believed, with the ^f anichsans, that Christ only appeared 
to nave a body; as was the case, they said, with the angels enter- 
tained by Abraham (see Burton's Bam^ton Lectures, lect. 6). It is 
curious to note here that Aug^stin mamtained that the Angel of the 
Covenant was not an anticipation, as it were, of the incarnation of 
the Word, but only a created angel {De Civ. Dei, xvi. 29, and De 
Trim. iii. ii>, thus unconsciously praying into the hands of the Arians. 
See Bull's D^. Fid. Nic. i. i, sec. a, etc., and iv. 3, sec. 14. 

' The founder of this heresy was Apollinaris the younger. Bishop 
of Laodicea, whose erroneous doctrine was condemned at the Coun- 
cil of Constantinople, a. d. 381. Note 4, sec. 33, above, on the 
" trichotomy," affords help in understanding it. Apollinaris seems 
to have dttured to exalt the Saviour, not to detract from HU 



in the Catholic faith, and was conformed to it. 
But somewhat later it was, I confess, that I 
learned how in the sentence, **The Word was 
made flesh,*' the Catholic truth can be distin- 
guished from the falsehood of Photinus.* For^ 
the disapproval of heretics makes the tenets of ! 
Thy Church and sound doctrine to stand out 
boldly.* For there must be also heresies, that the 
approved may be made manifest among the weak.^ 

|CHAP. XX. — HE REJOICES THAT HE PROCEEDED 
FROM PLATO TO THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, AND 
NOT THE REVERSE. 

26. But having then read those books of the 

lonour, like Arius. Before his time men had written much on the 

[ivine and much on the human side of our Lord's nature. He 
leavoured to show (see Dorner's Person vf Christy A. ii. 352, 

c, Clark) in what the two natures united differed from human 

ture. He concluded that our Lord had no need of the human 
tvit-a, and that its place was supplied by the divine nature, to 
tlat God " the Word/^ the body and the ^vvi}, constituted the be- 
iik of the Saviour. t>r. Pusey quotes the following passages here- 
oft : — " The faithful who believes and confesses in the Mediator a 
real human, i. r. our nature, althouzh God the Word, taking it in a 
singular manner, sublimated it into me only Son of God, so uiat He 
who took it, and what He took, was one person in the Trinity. For. 
after man was assumed, there Became not aquatemity but remains 
the Trinity, that assumption making .in an meffable way the truth 
of one person in God and man. Since we do not say that Christ is 
only God, as do the Manichaean heretics, nor orJy man, as the 
Photinian heretics, nor in such wise man as not to nave anything 
which certainly belong^ to human nature, whether the soul, or in 
the soul itseU the rational mind, or the flesh not taken of the 
woman, but made of the Word, converted and changed into flesh, 
which three false and vain statements made three several divisions 
of the Apollinarian heretics ; but we say that Christ is true God, 
bom of God the Father, without any beginning of time, and also 
true man, bom of a human mother in the fulness of time ; and that 
His humanity, whereby He is inferior to the Father, does not dero- 
gate from His divinity, whereby He is equal to the Father" {De 
Datto Persev. sec. ult.). '* There was formerly a heresy — its rem- 
nants perhaps still exist — of some called Apoliinarians. Some of 
them said that that man whom the Word took, when ' the Word 
was made flesh,' had not the human, t. e. rational (Aoyi«c6i') mind» 
but was only a soul without human intelligence, but tnat the very 
Word of God was in that man instead of a mind. They were cast 
out, — the Catholic faith rejected them, and they made a heresy. It 
was establUhed in the Catholic faith that that man whom the wis- 
dom of God took had nothing less than other men, with regard to 
the integrity of man's nature/but as to the excellency of His person, 
had more tnan other men. For other men may be said to be par- 
takers of ilie Word of God, having the Word of God, but none of 
them can be called the Word of God, which He was called when it is 
said, ' TAe IVardwas made flesh ' " {in Ps. xxix., Enarr. ii. sec. a). 
" But when they reflected that, if their doctrine were irue^ they 
must confess that the only-begotten Son of (^od, the Wisdom 
and Word of the Father, by wham ail things were made, is be- 
lieved to have taken a sort of brute with the figure of a human 
body, they were dissatisfied with themselves ; yet not so as to 
amend, and confess that the whole man was assumed by the wisdom 
of Goa, without any diminution of nature, but still more boldly 
denied to Him the soul itself, and evervthing of any worth in mai»^ 
and said that He only took human flesh " {De 83, Div. Qutest. qu, 
80). Reference on the questions touched on in this note may oe 
made to Neander's Church History, ii. 401, etc. (Clark); and 
Hagenbach, History 0/ Doctrines, i. 370 (Clark). 

•See notes on p. 107. 

* Archbishop 'Trencn's w ords on this sentence in the Confessions 
{Huisean lectures, lect. v. i8^0 have a special interest in the pre- 
sent attitude of the Roman Church : — " Doubtless there is a true 
idea of scriptural developments which has always been recognised, 
to which the great Fathers of the Church have set their seal; this, 
namely, that the Church, informed and quickened by the Spirit of 
God, more and more discovers what in Holy Scripture is given her; 
but not this, that she unfolds by an independent power any thing fur- 
ther therefrom. She has always possessed what she now possesses 
of doctrine and truth, only not always with the same distinctness of 
consciousness. She has not added to her wealth, but she has be- 
come more and more aware of that wealth ; her dowry has re- 
mained always the same, but that dowry was so rich and so rare, that 
only little by little she has counted over and taken stock and invent- 
ory of her jewels. She has consolidated her doctrine, compelled to 
this by the challenges and provocation of enemies, or induced to it 
by the growine sense of her own needs." Perhaps no one, to turn 
from the Church to individual men, has been more indebted than was 
Augustin to controversies with heretics for the evolvement of truth. 

( z Cor. xi. 19. I 



I 

/ 



114 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VIL 



i 



PlatonistSy and being admonished by them to 
search for incorporeal truth, I saw Thy invisible 
.things, understood by those things that are 
\ Imade;^ and though repulsed, I perceived what 
Mthat was, which through the darkness of my 
Tnind I was not allowed to contemplate, — as- 
sured that Thou wert, and wert infinite, and yet 
not diffused in space finite or infinite ; and that 
Thou truly art, who art the same ever,' varying 
neither in part nor motion ; and that all other 
things are from Thee, on this most sure ground 
alohe, that they are. Of these things was I in- 
deed assured, yet too weak to enjoy Thee. I 
chattered as one well skilled; but had I not 
sought Thy way in Christ our Saviour, I would 
have proved not skilful, but ready to perish. 
For . now, filled with my punishment, I had 
begun to desire to seem wise ; yet mourned I 
not, but rather was puffed up with knowledge.* 
For where was that charity building upon the 
"foundation" of humility, "which is Jesus 
Christ " ?* Or, when would these books teach 
me it ? Upon these, therefore, I believe, it was 
Thy pleasure that I should fall before I studied 
Thy Scriptures, that it might be impressed on 
my memory how I was affected by them ; and 
that afterwards when I was subdued by Thy 
books, and when my wounds were touched by 
Thy healing fingers, I might discern and distin- 
guish what a difference there is between pre- 
sumption and confession, — between those who 
saw whither they were to go, yet saw not the 
way, and the way which leadeth not only to 
behold but to inhabit the blessed country.* For 
had I first been moulded in Thy Holy Scrip- 
tures, and hadst Thou, in the familiar use of 
them, grown sweet unto me, and had I after- 
wards fallen upon those volumes, they might 
perhaps have withdrawn me from the solid 
ground of piety ; or, had I stood firm in that 
wholesome disposition which I had thence im- 
bibed, I might have thought that it could have 
been attained by the study of those books alone. 

CHAP. XXI. — WHAT HE FOUND IN THE SACRED 
BOOKS WHICH ARE NOT TO BE FOUND IN 
PLATO. 

27. Most eagerly, then, did I seize that ven- 
erable writing of Thy Spirit, but more espec- 

^ Rom. i. 20, 

« Sec sec. 17, note, above. 

' I Cor. viii. I. 

* 1 Cor. iii. ix. 

ft We have already quoted apassage from Augi»tin'« Scrmcns (v. 
sec. 5, note 7, above), where Cnrist as God is described as the coun- 
try we seek, while as man He is the way to go to it. The Fathers 
frequently point out in their controversies with the philosophers that 
It little profited that they should know of a goal to be attained unless 
they could learn the way to reach it. And, in accordance with this 
sentiment, Augustin says : " For it is as man that He is the Mediator 
and the Way. Since, if the way lieth between him who goes and 
the place whither he goes, there is hope of his reaching it; but if 
there be no way, or if he know not where it is, what boots it to 
know whither he should gp?" (De Civ. Dfi,xi. a.) And again, 
in his Z7r Trin.- iv. 15 : "But of what use is it for the proud man. 



ially the Apostle Paul;* and those difficulties 
vanished away, in which he at one time appeared 
to me to contradict himself, and the text of 
his discourse not to agree with the testimonies 
of the Law and the Prophets. And the fiure of 
that pure speech appeared to me one and the 
same ; and I learned to '' rejoice with tremb- 
ling.'** So I commenced, and found that 
whatsoever truth I had there read was declared 
here with the recommendation of Thy grace; 
that he who sees may not so glory as if he had 
not received' not only that which he Sees, but 
also that he can see (for what hath he which he 
hath not received ?) ; and that he may not only 
be admonished to see Thee, who art ever the 
same, but also may be healed, to hold Thee; and 
that he who from afar off is not able to see,^ may 
still walk on the way by which he may reach, 
behold, and possess Thee. For thoUjgh a man 
" delight in the law of God after the inward 
man,''* what shall he do with that other law in 
his members which warreth against the law of 
his mind, and bringeth him into captivity to the 
law of sin, which is in his members ? "* For Thou 
art righteous, O Lord, but we have sinned and 
committed iniquity, and have done wickedly,** 
and Thy hand is grown heavy upon us, and we 
are justly delivered over unto that ancient sin- 
ner, the governor of death ; for he induced our 
will to be like his will, whereby he remained not 
in Thy truth. What shall " wretched man " 
do? ** Who shall deliver him from the body of 
this death," but Thy grace only, "through 
Jesus Christ our Lord,"" whom Thou hast 
begotten co-eternal, and createdst" in the begin- 

who, on that account, is ashamed to embark upon the ship of wood. 
to behold from afar his country beyond the sea? Or how can it 
hurt the humble man not to behold it from so great a distance, when 
he is actually coming to it by that wood upon which the otner dis- 
dains to be borne? " 

• Literally, " llie venerable /en of Thy Spirit (wntraUlem sti- 
lum Spiriius Tut) ; words which would seem to imply a belief on 
Augustin's part in a verbal inspiration of Scripture. That he gave 
Scripture the highest honour as Ood's inspired word is clear not 
only from this, but other passages in hb works. It is equally clear, 
however, that he gave full recognition to the human element in tfafo 
word. See De C(ms. Evattg. ii. 12, where both these aspects an 
plainly discoverable. Compare also i^id. c. 24. 

^ Ps. ii. II. 

• I Cor. iv. 7. 

• Rom. vii. 23. 
w Ibid. ver. 23. 

11 Song of the Three Children, 4 xf . 

IS Rom. vii. 24, 25. 

1* Frov. viii. 22, as ouoted from the old Italic version. It must not 
be understood to teach that the Ixird is a creature, (i) Augustin, 
as indeed is implied in the Congestions above, understands the pas- 
sage of the incarnation of Chri.st, and in his Dt Doct. Christ, i. 33. 
he distinctly so applies it : " For Christ . . . desiring to be Himsea 
the Way to those who are just setting out, determined to take a 
fleshly body. Whence also that expression, ' The Lord created me 
in the beginning of his Way,' — that is, that those who wish to coma 
might begin their journey in Him." Again, in a remarkable pas- 
sage in his De Trin. i. 24, he makes a similar application otdie 
words : " According to the form of a servant, it is said, ' The Lord 
created me in the ocginninfi; of His ways.' Because, according to 
the form of God, he said, ' 1 am the Truth ; ' and, according to the 
form of a servant, ' I am the Way.' " (2) Again, crrox/i is from ^m 
LXX. •KTi(r«, which is that version's rendering in this verse of the 
Hebrew ^j^p* '^'be Vulgate, more correctly translating from the 

Hebrew, give^ fossedit, thus correspondine to our English versioB, 
" The hoTtl /assessed me," etc. The LXX. would appear to have 
made an erroneous rendering here, for kti^m is generally in that 



Crap. XXI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



"5 



ning of Thy ways, in whom the Prince of this 
world found nothing worthy of death,* yet 
killed he Him, and the handwriting which was 
contrary to us was blotted out?* This those 
writings contain not. Those pages contain not 
the expression of this piety, —the tears of con- 
fession. Thy sacrifice, a troubled spirit, "a 
broken and a contrite heart,''* the salvation of 
the people, the espoused city,* the earnest of the 
Holy Ghost,* the cup of our redemption.' No 
man sings there. Shall not my soul be subject 
unto God ? For of Him cometh my salvation, 
for He is my God and my salvation, my de- 
fender, I shall not be further moved.* No one 
there hears Him calling, ** Come unto me all 
ye that labour." They scorn to learn of Him, 
because He is meek and lowly of heart ; • for 
'* Thou hast hid those things from the wise and 
prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."* 
For it is one thing, from the mountain's wooded 

TenioD the equivalent for K'13, " to create/' while HJp is usually 

rendered by «TM|i«i, ** to pouets/' " to acquire." It is true that 
Gesenius supposes that in a few passages, and Prov. viii. 22 among 
i^^ncoi, Ty^^ should be rendered " to create ; " but these very pas- 

iMr» our authorised version renders " to get," or " to possess; " 
asad, as Dr. Trcselle^ observes, referring to M'Call on the Divine 
Sonmip, " in alipi awa ya cilea for that sense, ' to possess ' appears 



to be the true meauung. 
1 John zviii. 38. 
•Col. ti. 14. 
» Fs. U. 17. 
4 Rev. xjti. 3. 
» a Cor. V. 5. 

• P». cxvi. 13. 
T P». Ixii. X, a. 
> Matt. ai. a8, a^. 

• MatL xi. 35. 



summit to see the land of peace,"^ and not to 
find the way thither, — in vain to attempt im- 
passable ways, opposed* and waylaid by fugitives 
and deserters, under their captain the ** lion " " 
and the ** dragon ; " " and another to keep to 
the way that leads thither, guarded by the host 
of the heavenly general, where they rob not 
who have deserted the heavenly army, which 
they shun as torture. These things did in a 
wonderful manner sink into my bowels, when I 
read that "least of Thy apostles,"" and had 
reflected upon Thy works, and feared greatly. 

10 Deut. xxxii. 49. 

» I Pet. V. 8. 

w Rev. xit. 3. 

1* I Cor. XV. 9. In giving an account, remarics Pusey, of this 
period to his friend and patron Romanianus. St. Augustin seems to 
have blended together this and the history of his completed conver- 
sion, which was also wrought in connection with words in the same 
apo^e. but the account oT which he uniformly suppresses, for fear, 
probably, of injuring the individual to whom he was writing (see on 
book ix. sec. 4, note, below). ^ Since that vehement flame which 
was about to seise me as yet was not, I thousht that by which I was 
slowly kindled was the very greatest. When lo! certain books, 
when they had dbtilled a very few drops of most precious unsuent 
on that tiny flame, it b past belief, Romanianus, past belietl and 
perhaps past what even you believe of me (and what could I say 
more?), nay, to myself also is it past belief, what a conflagration of 
myself they lighted. What ambition, what human show, what 
empty love of tame, or, lastly, what incitement or band of this mor- 
tal lite could hold me then ? 1 turned speedily and wholly back into 
myself. I cast but a glance, I confess, as one passing on, upon that 
religion which was implanted into us as boys, and interwoven with 
our very inmost selves ; but she drew me unknowing to herself. So 
then, stumbling, hurrying, hesitating, I seized the Apostle Paul: 
* for never.' said I, * could they have wrought such things, or lived 
as it is plain they did live, it their writings and arguments were 
opposed to this so high good.' I read the whole most intently and 
carefully. But then, never so little light having been shed thereon, 
such a countenance of wisdom gleamed upon me, that if I could 
exhibit it — I say not to you, who ever hungcredst after her, though 
unknown — but to your very adversary (see book vi. sec. 34, note, 
above), casting aside and abandoning whatever now stimulates him 
so keenly to whatsoever pleasures, he would, amazed, panting, eop 
kindled, fly to her Beauty " {Can. Acad. ii. s). 



BOOK VIII. 

HE FINALLY DESCRIBES THE THIRTY-SECOND YEAR OF HIS AGE, THE MOST MEMORABLE OF HIS WHOLE 
LIFE, IN WHICH, BEING INSTRUCTED BY SIMPLICIANUS CONCERNING THE CONVERSION OF OTHERS, 
AND THE MANNER OF ACTING, HE IS, AFTER A SEVERE STRUGGLE, RENEWED IN HIS WHOLE MIND, 
AND IS CONVERTED UNTO GOD. 




P. I. — HE, NOW GIVEN TO DIVINE THINGS, 
AND YET ENTANGLED BY THE LUSTS OF LOVE, 
CONSULTS SLVIPLICIANUS IN REFERENCE TO THE 
RENEWING OF HIS MIND. 

I. O MY God, let me with gratitude remem- 
ber and confess unto Thee Thy mercies be- 
stowed upon me. Let my bones be steeped in 
Thy love, and let them say. Who is like unto 
Thee, O Lord ? * ** Thou hast loosed my bonds, 
I will offer unto Thee the sacrifice of thanks- 
giving."* And how Thou hast loosed them I 
will declare ; and all who worship Thee when 
they hear these things shall say : ** Blessed be 
the Lord in heaven and earth, great and won- 
derful is His name." Thy words had stuck 
fast into my breast, and I was hedged round 
about by Thee on every side.' Of Thy eternal 
life I was now certain, although I had seen it 
"through a glass darkly."* Yet I no longer 
doubted that there was an incorruptible sub- 
stance, from which was derived all other sub- 
stance ; nor did I now desire to be more cer- 
tain of Thee, but more stedfast in Thee. As 
for my temporal life, all things were uncertain, 
and my heart had to be purged from the old 
leaven.' The "Way,"* the Saviour Himself, 
was pleasant unto me, but as yet I disliked to 
pass through its straightness. And Thou didst 
put into my mind, and it seemed good in my 
eyes, to go unto Simplicianus,^ who appeared to 
me a faithful servant of Thine, and Thy grace 

* Ps. XXXV. lO. 

* Ps. cxvi, i6, 17. 
'Job. i. 10. 

* I Cor. xiii. 12. 

* X Cor. V. 7. 

* John xiv. 6. 

' " SimpUcianus ' became a succe5»or of the most blessed Ambrose, 
Bishop of the Church of Milan ' (Aug. Rrtract. ii. i). To him St. 
Augustin wrote two Iwoks, De Diversis QuastionibMS (P/. t. vi. p. 
82 sq.), and calls him * father ' (ibid.), speaks of his ' fatherly affec- 
tions from his most benevolent heart, not recent or sudden, but tried 




sake of the faith, and of acquiring divine knowledge, and having 

a'vcn the whole period of this life to holy reading, night and day : 
at he had an acute mind, whereby he took in intcllectu.1l studies, 
and was in the habit of proving how far the books of philosophy 
were gone astray from the truth,' Ep. 65, sec. 5, p. 1052, ed. Ben. 
See also Tillemont, H. E. 1. 10, Art. ' S. Simplicien.' "— E. B. P. 

116 



shone in him. I had also heard that from his 
very youth he had lived most devoted to Thee. 
! Now he had grown into years, and by reason of 
so great age, passed in such zealous following of 
Thy ways, he appeared to me likely to have 
gained much experience; and so in truth he 
had. Out of which experience I desired him 
to tell me (setting before him my .griefs) which 
would be the most fitting way for one afflicted 
as I was to walk in Thy way. 

2. For the Church I saw to be full, and one 
went this way, and another that. But it was 
displeasing to me that I led a secular life ; yea, 
now that my passions had ceased to excite me 
as of old with hopes of honour and wealth, a 
very g'-ievous burden it was to undergo so great 
a servitude. For, compared with Thy sweet- 
ness, and the beauty of Thy house, which I 
loved,* those things delighted me no longer. 
But still very tenaciously was I held by the love 
of women ; nor did the apostle forbid me to 
marry, although he exhorted me to something 
better, especially wishing that all men were as 
he himself was.* But I, being weak, made 
choice of the more agreeable place, and because 
of this alone was tossed up and down in all be- 
side, faint and languishing with withering cares, 
because in other matters I was compelled, 
though unwilling, to agree to a married life, to 
which I was given up and enthralled. I had 
heard from the mouth of truth that ** there be 
eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs 
for the kingdom of heaven's sake;" but, saith 
He, *' he that is able to receive it, let him re- 
ceive it."*" Vain, assuredly, are all men in 
whom the knowledge of God is not, and who 
could not, out of the good things which are 
seen, find out Him who is good.** But I was 
no longer in that vanity ; I had surmounted it, 
and by the united testimony of Thy whole cre- 
ation had found Thee, our Creator," and Thy 

" Ps. xxvi. 8. 

• I Cor. vii. 7. 
W Matt. xix. xa. 
»i Wisd. xui. X. 
u See iv. sec. x8, and note, above. 



Chap, n.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



Word, God with Thee, and together with Thee 
and the Holy Ghost* one God, by whom Thou 
creatcdst all things. There is yet another kind 
of impious men, who ** when they knew God, 
they glorified Him not as God, neither were 
thankful.*" Into this also had I fallen; but 
Thy right hand held me up,* and bore me away, 
and Thou placedst me where I might recover. 
For Thou hast said unto man, " Behold, the 
fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ;** * and desire 
not to seem wise,* because, " Professing them- 
selves to be wise, they became fools.*'* But I 
had now found the goodly pearl,* which, sell- 
ing all that I had,* I ought to have bought; and 
I hesitated. 

CHAP. 11. — ^THE PIOUS OLD MAN REJOICES THAT 
HE READ PLATO AND THE SCRIPTURES, AND 
TELLS HIM OF THE RHETORICIAN VICTORINUS 
HAVING BEEN CONVERTED TO THE FAITH 
THROUGH THE READING OF THE SACRED 
BOOKS. 

3. To Simplicianus then I went, — the father 
of Ambrose* (at that time a bishop) in receiv- 
ing Thy grace, and whom he truly loved as a 
father. To him I narrated the windings of my 
error. But when I mentioned to him that I 
had read certain books of the Platonists, which 
Victorinus, sometime Professor of Rhetoric at 
Rome (who died a Christian, as I had been 
told), had translated into Latin, he congratu- 
lated me that I had not fallen upon the writings 
of other philosophers, which were full of falla- 
cies and deceit, "after the rudiments of the 
world,'*** whereas they," in many ways, led to 
the belief in God and His word." Then, to 



> "And the Holy Gho«t." These words, though in the text of 
the Benedictine edition are not, as the editors point out, found in 
the majority of the best mss. 

* Rom. i. 21. 
■ Ps. xviii. 35. 

* lob xxviii. 38. 

* Prov. iii, 7. 

* Rom. i. aa. 

T In his Ouofst. tx Matt. 13, likewise, Augustin compares Christ 
to the pean of great price, who is in every way able to satisfy the 
cravings of man. 

* Matt. xiii. 46. 

t Simpbdanus succeeded Ambrose, 397 a. d. He has already been 
referrea to, in the extract from De Civ. Dei, in note i, p. 11 3, above, 
as " the old saint Simplicianus, afterwards Bishop of Milan." In 
S/. vj, Augustin addresses him as " his father, most worthy of be- 
faig cherished with respect and sincere affection." When Simpli- 
cianus is spoken of above as "the father of Ambrose in receivmg 
Thy grace " referente is doubtless made to his having been instru- 
mental in his conversion — he having " begotten " him •• through 
the gospel" (x Cor. iv. 15). Ambrose, when writing to him {Ep. 
60, concludes, *• Vale, et nos parentis affectu dilige, ut facis." 

H /. r. the Platonists. 

M In like manner Augusdn, in his De Civ. Dei (viii. 5), says : " No 
philosophers come nearer to us than the Platonists;" and else- 
where, in the same book, he speaks, in exalted terms, of their supe- 
riority to other philosopheni. When he speaks of the Platonists, he 
means the Neo-Platonists. from whom he conceived that he could 
hot derive a knowled^ 01 Plato, who had. by pursuing the Socra- 
tic method in concealing his opinions, renaered it difficult " to dis- 
cover clearly what he himself thought on various matters, any more 
dian it b to discover what were the real opinions of Socrates '^ {ibid. 
iec. 4). Whether Plato himself had or not knowledge of the reve- 
ktdon contained in the Old Testament Scriptures, as Augustin sup- 
* {Dt Cm, DH, viii. zz, za), it is clear that the later Platonists 




117 



exhort me to the humility of Christ," hidden 
from the wise, and revealed to little ones," he 
spoke of Victorinus himself,^ whom, whilst he 
was at Rome, he had known very intimately ; 
and of him he related that about which I will 
not be silent. For it contains. great praise of 
Thy grace, which ought to be confessed unto 
Thee, how that most learned old man, highly 
skilled in all the liberal sciences, who had read, 
criticised, and explained so many works of the 
philosophers; the teacher of so many noble 
senators ; who also, as a mark of his excellent 
discharge of his duties, had (which men of this 
world esteem a great honour) both merited and 
obtained a statue in the Roman Forum, he, — 
even to that age a worshipper of idols, and a 
participator in the sacrilegious rites to which 
almost all the nobility of Rome were wedded, 
and had inspired the people with the love of 

" The dog Anubis, and a medley crew 
Of monster gods [who] 'gainst Neptune stand in arms, 
'Gainst Venus and Minerva, steel-clad Mars," l* 

whom Rome once conquered, now worshipped, 
all which old Victorinus had with thundering 
eloquence defended so many years, — he now 
blushed not to be the child of Thy Christ, and 
an infant at Thy fountain, submitting his neck 
to the yoke of humility, and subduing his fore- 
head to the reproach of the Cross. 

4. O Lord, Lord, who hast bowed the 
heavens and come down, touched the moun- 
tains and they did smoke," by what means didst 
Thou convey Thyself into that bosom? He 
used to read, as Simplicianus said, the Holy 
Scripture, most studiously sought after and 
searched into all the Christian writings, and 
said to Simplicianus, — not openly, but secretly, 
and as a friend, — '* Know thou that I am a 
Christian.** To which he replied, ** I will not 
believe it, nor will I rank you among the Chris- 
tians unless I see you in the Church of Christ." 
Whereupon he replied derisively, " Is it then 
the walls that make Christians ? * * And this he 

were considerably affected by Judaic ideas, even as the phildso- 
phizine lews were indebted to Platonism. This view has been 
embooied in the proverb frequently found in the Fathers, Latin as 
well as Greek, *H OAaTwK ^i-koviiti ^ ^iknv wXarwviiti- Archer 
Butler, in the fourth of his Lecture* on Ancient Philosophy, treats 
of the vitality of Plato's teaching and the causes of its influence, 
and shows how in certain points there is a harmony between his 
ideas and the precepts of the gospel. On the difficulty of unravel- 
ling the subtleties of the Platonic philosophy, see Burton's Bampton 
Lectures (lect. 3). 

1^ See iv. sec. 19, above. 

" Matt. xi. 25. 

"^ " Victorinus, by birth an African, taught rhetoric at Rome 
under Constantius, and in extreme old age, giving himself up to the 
faith of Christ, wrote some books against Arius, dialecticaliy [and 
so] very obscure, which are not understood but by the learned, and 
a commentary on the Apostle" [^Paull (Jerome, De Viris Hi. c. 
1 01). It is of the same, probably, that Gennadius speaks (De k'iris 
III. c. 60), " that he commented in a Christian and pious strain, but 
inasmuch as he was a man taken up with secular literature, and 
not trained in the Divine Scriptures by any teacher, he produced 
what was comparatively of little weight." Comp. Jerome, Prof. 
in Comm. in Gai., ana see Tillemont, 1. c. p. 179, sg. Some of his 
works are extant. — E. B. P. 

w yEneid^ viii. 736-8. The Kennedys. 

" Ps. cxliv. 5. 



Ii8 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VSL 



often said, that he already was a Christian ; and 
Simplicianus making the same answer, the con- 
ceit of the " walls " was by the other as often 
renewed. For he was fearful of offending his 
friends, proud demon-worshippers, from the 
height of whose Babylonian dignity, as from 
cedars of Lebanon which had not yet been 
broken by the Lord,* he thought a storm of 
enmity would descend upon him. But after 
that, from reading and inquiry, he had derived 
strength, and feared lest he should be denied 
by Christ before the holy angels if he now was 
afraid to confess Him before men,* and ap- 
peared to himself guilty of a great fault in being 
ashamed of the sacraments* of the humility of 
Thy word, and not being ashamed of the 
sacrilegious rites of those proud demons, 
whose pride he had imitated and their rites 
adopted, he became bold-faced against vanity, 
and shame-faced toward the truth, and sud- 
denly and unexpectedly said to Simplicianus, — 
as he himself informed me, — '* Let us go to 
the church; I wish to be made a Christian." 
But he, not containing himself for joy, accom- 
panied him. And having been admitted to the 
first sacraments of instruction,* he not long 

* Ps. xxix. 5. 
> Luke ix. a6. 

• ' ' 'ITic Fathers gave the name of sacrammi, or mystery, to every- 
thing which conveyed one sieniAcation or property to unassisted 
reason, and another to faith. Hence Cyprian speaks of the ' sacra> 
ments ' of the Lord's Prayer, meaning the hidden meaning con- 
veyed therein, which could only be appreciated by a Christian. 
The Fathers sometimes speak of confirmation as a sacrament, be- 
cause the chrism signifie«l the grace of the Holy Ghost ; and the 
imposition o( hands was not merely a bare sign, but the form by 
which it was conveyed. See Bingham, book xii. c. t, sec. 4. Vei 
at the same time they continually speak of tivo great .sacraments of 
the Christian Church " (Palmer's Oriffinrs Liturgica^ vol. ii. c. 6, 
sec. I, p. 20I). 

4 That is, he became a cateckunttn. In addition to the informa- 
tion on this subject, already given in the note to book vi. sec. 2, 
above, the following references to it may prove in.structive. (i) Jus- 
tin Martyr, dcscribmg the manner of receiving converts into the 
Church in his day , says {A^ol. i. 61 ) : "As many as arc persuaded and 
believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able 
to live accordingly, are instructed to pray, and to entreat G<xl with 
fasting for the rvmission of their sins that are past, wc praying and 
fjftsting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is 
water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were 
ourselves regenerated. And this washinc is called illumination, lie- 
cause they who learn these things are uluminatcd in their imder- 
standings." And again {ibid. 65) : " Wc, after we have thus 
wa.shed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teach- 
ing, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are 
assembled, in order that wc may offer hearty prayers, in common 
for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all 
others in every place. . . . Having ended the prayers, we salute 
one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of 
the brethren bread, and a cup of wine mixed with water : ami he, 
taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, 
through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. . . . And 
when the president has given thanks, and all the people have ex- 
pressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to 
each of those present, to partake of, the bread and wine mixed with 
water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and t<» those 
who are absent they carry away a portion." And once more (ibid. 
66p : ** This fo«Ki is caUe(f among us Evxaaiirria [the Eucharist], of 
which no one is allowed to partake but tne man who b>elieves that 
the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with 
the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, 
and who is so living as Christ has enjoined." (2) In Walts' transla- 
tion, we have the following note on this episode in our text : " Here 
be divers partiailars of the primitive fashion, in this story of Victo- 
rinus. First, being converted, he was to take some well-known 1 
Christian (who was to be his godfather) to go with him to the 
bishop, who, upon notice of it, admitted him a catfchu/nenus, and 
gave nim those six points of catechistical doctrine mentioned neb. 
vi. z, 2. When the time of baptism drew near, the young Christian 



after gave in his name, that he might be regene- 
rated by baptism, — Rome marvelling, and ^ 
Church rejoicing. The proud saw, and were 
enraged; they gnashed with their teeth, and 
melted away ! * But the Lord God was the 
hope of Thy servant, and He regarded not van- 
ities and lying madness.* 

5. Finally, when the hour arrived for him to 
make profession of his faith (which at Rome 
they who are about to approach Thy grace are 
wont to deliver^ from an elevated place, in view 
of the faithful people, in a set form of words 
learnt by heart),' the presbyters, he said, offered 

came to give in his heathen name, which was presently registend, 
submitting himself to exafnination. On the eve, was he, in a set 
form, first, to renounce the devil, and to pronounce, I confess to 
Thee, O Christ, repeating the Creed with it, in the form here re- 
corded. The time for giving in their names must be within the two 
first weeks in Lent ; and the .solemn day to renounce upon was Maundy 
Thursday. So bids the Council of Laodicea (Can. 45 and 46). 
The renuttciaiioH adverted to by Watts in the above passage may 
be traced to an early period in the writings, of the Fathers. It » 
mentii>ncd by Tcrtullian, Ambrose, and Jerome ; and " in the fourth 
century," says Palmer (Orig^'ngs Liturgicae, c. 5, sec. 2, where the 
authorities will be found). " the renunciation was made with great 
solemnity. Cyril of Jerusalem, speaking to those who had oeen 
recently baptized, said. ' First, you have entered into the vestibule 
of the baptistry, and, standing towards the west, you have heard, 
and been commandcii, and stretch forth your hun^, and renounce 
Satan as if he were present.* This rite 01 turning to the west at the 
renunciation of Satan is also spoken of by Jerome, Gregory, Nazt- 
anzcn, and Ambro.se ; and it was sometimes performed with exsuf- 
flatiuns and other external signs of enmity to Satan, and rejection 
of him and his works. To the present day these customs remain in 
the patriarchate of Constantinople, where the candidates for ^p- 
tism turn to the west to renounce Satan, stretching forth their hanos, 
and using an exsufHation as a sign of enmity agauist him. And the 
Monophysitcs of Antioch and Jerusalem, Alexandria and Armenia, 
also retain the custom of renouncing Satan with faces turned to the 
west." 

* Ps. cxii. to. 

* Ps. xxxi. 6, 14, 18. 

7 Literally, " give back," reddere. 

* Anciently, as Palmer has noted in the introduction to his Ori» 
ginfs Liturgico', the liturgies of the various churches were learnt 
by heart. '1 hey prol>ably ocgan to be committed to writing about 
Augustin's day. The reference, however, in this place, is to the 
Apostles' Creed, which. Dr. Pusey in a note remarks, was deliver«d 
orally to the catechumens to commit to memory, and by them tieiiv- 
ered back, i. e. publicly repeated before they were baptized. *' The 
symbol [creed] bearing hallowed testimony, which ye have together 
received, and are this day severally to give back \rectdidisftt\f are 
the words in which the faith of our mother the Church is solidly con- 
structed on a stable foundation, which is Christ the Lord. ' For 
other foundation can no man lay,' etc. Ve have received them, and 
given back \^ri'tididistis\ what ye ought to retain in heart and aund, 
what ye should repeat in your Wds, think on in the streets, and for- 
get not in your meals, and while sleeping in body, in heart watch 
therein For this is the faith, and the rule of salvation, that ' We 
believe in God, the Father.Almighty,' " etc. (Aug. Serm. 215, in Red' 
ditione S^mboii). " On the Sabbath day [Saturday], when we shall 
keep a vigil through the mercy of God, ye will give back [reddiimrf] 
not the [Lord's] Pr.-wer, but the Creed" (Srrm. 58, sec. «//.). 
" What ye have briefly heard, ye ought not only to beUcve, but to 
commit to memory in so many words, and utter with your mouth " 
(SfrM. 214, in 'Jriuiit. Symb. 3. sec. 2). " Nor, in order to retain 
the very words of the Creed, ought ye any wise to write It, but ta 
learn it thoroughly by hearing, nor. when ye have learnt it, ou^t 
ye to write it. but always to keep and refresh it in your memonM. 
— ' This is my covenant, which I will make with them after those 
days,' saith the I>ord ; ' I will place my law in their minds, juid in 
their hearts will I write it.' To convey this, the Creed is ieamiiif 
hearing, and not written on tables or any other substance, but 00 
the heart" {Serm. 21 j. sec. 2). See the Konian Liturgy {Atsrm, 
Cod. Liturg. t. i. p. 11 sq., 16), and the Gothic and Gailican (j^. 
30 sq. , 3d jf . , 40 sff. , etc ). " '1 he renunciation of Satan," to quote 
(mce more from Palmer's Origines (c. 5, sec. 3), " w.is always fol- 
lowed by a T)rofes.sion of faith in Christ, as it is now in the English 
ritual. . . . The promise of oberiiencc and faith in Christ was made 
by the catechumens and s(K)nsors, with their faces turned towards 
the east, a-; we learn from Cyril of Jerusalem and many other 
writers. Tertullian speaks of tne jf>rofession of faith made at bap- 
tism, in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and in the Church. Cyp- 
rian mentions the interrogation, * Dost thou believe in eternal Im. 
and remission of sins through the Holy Church?' Eusebius and 
many other Fathers also speak of the profession of faith made at 
this time ; and it is especially noted in the Apostolical ConstitutioM, 



<:rap. IV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



119 



Victorinus to make his profession more privately, 
as the custom was to do to those who were 
likely^ through bashfulness, to be afraid ; but he 
chose rather to profess his salvation in the pres- 
ence of the holy assembly. For it was not sal- 
vation that he taught in rhetoric, and yet he had 
publicly professed that. How much less, there- 
fore, ought he, when pronouncing Thy word, 
to dread Thy meek flock, who, in the delivery 
of his own words, had not feared the mad mul- 
titudes ! So, then, when he ascended to make 
his profession, all, as they recognised him, 
whispered his name one to the other, with a 
voice of congratulation. And who was there 
amongst them that did not know him? And 
there ran a low murmur through the mouths of 
all the rejoicing multitude, ** Victorinus! Vic- 
torinus ! ' ' Sudden was the burst of exultation 
at the sight of him ; and suddenly were they 
hushed, that they might hear him. He pro- 
nounced the true faith with an excellent bold- 
ness, and all desired to take him to their very 
heart — yea, by their love and joy they took him 
thither ; such were the hands with which they 
took him. 

CHAP. III. — ^THAT GOD AND THE ANGELS REJOICE 
MORE ON THE RETURN OF ONE SINNER THAN 
OF MANY JUST PERSONS. 

6. Good God, what passed in man to make 
him rejoice more at the salvation of a soul 
despaired of, and delivered from greater danger, 
than if there had always been hope of him, or 
the danger had been less? For so Thou also, 
O merciful Father, dost '* joy over one sinner 
that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine 
just persons that need no repentance.** And 
with much joyfulness do we hear, whenever we 
hear, how the lost sheep is brought home again 
on the Shepherd's shoulders, while the angels 
rejoice, and the drachma is restored to Thy 
treasury, the neighbours rejoicing with the 
woman who found it ; * and the joy of the sol- 
emn service of Thy house constraineth to tears, 
when in Thy house it is read of Thy younger 
son that he "was dead, and is alive again, and 
was lost, and is found.'** For Thou rejoicest 
both in us and in Thy angels, holy through holy 
charity. For Thou art ever the same ; for all 
things which abide neither the same nor for 
ever. Thou ever knowest after the same manner. 

7. What, then, passes in the soul when it 
more delights at finding or having restored to it 

which were written in the Elast at the end of the third or beginning 
of the fourth centuiy. The profession of faith in the Eastern 
churches has generally been made by the sponsor, or the person to 
be bapdted, not in the form of aaswers to questions, but by repeat- 
ing the Creed after the priest. In the Western churches, the imme- 
morial cus t o m has been, for the priest to interrogate the candidate 
for bopdsrn, or his sponsor, on the principal articles of the Christian 
•iaith. 

1 Lidn XT. 4-S0. 

s Luke «▼. }■. 



the thing it loves than if it had always pos- 
sessed them? Yea, and other things bear wit- 
ness hereunto; and all things are full of wit- 
nesses, crying out, '* So it is.'* The victorious 
commander triumpheth ; yet he would not have 
conquered had he not fought, and the greater 
the peril of the battle, the more the rejoicing 
of the triumph. The storm tosses the voyagers, 
threatens shipwreck, and every one waxes pale 
at the approach of death ; but sky and sea grow 
calm, and they rejoice much, as they feared 
much. A loved one is sick, and his pulse indi- 
cates danger j all who desire his safety are at 
once sick at heart : he recovers, though not able 
as yet to walk with his former strength, and 
there is such joy as was not before when he 
walked sound and strong. Yea, the very 
pleasures of human life — not those only which 
rush upon us unexpectedly, and against our 
wills, but those that are voluntary and designed 
— do men obtain by difficulties. There is no 
pleasure at all in eating and drinking unless the 
pains of hunger and thirst go before. And 
drunkards eat certain salt meats with the view 
of creating a troublesome heat, which the drink 
allaying causes pleasure. It is also the custom 
that the affianced bride should not immediately 
be given up, that the husband may not l^ss es- 
teem her whom, as betrothed, he longed not for.* 

8. This law obtains in base and accursed joy ; 
in that joy also which is permitted and lawful; 
in the sincerity of honest friendship; and in 
Him who was dead, and lived again, had been 
lost, and was found.* The greater joy is every- 
where preceded by the greater pain. What 
meaneth this, O Lord my God, when Thou art 
an everlasting joy unto Thine own self, and some 
things about Thee are ever rejoicing in Thee?* 
What meaneth this, that this portion of things 
thus ebbs and flows, alternately offended and 
reconciled ? Is this the fashion of them, and is 
this all Thou hast allotted to them, whereas from 
the highest heaven to the lowest earth, from the 
beginning of the world to its end, from the 
angel to the worm, from the first movement 
unto the last. Thou settedst each in its right 
place, and appointedst each its proper seasons, 
everything good after its kind ? Woe is me ! 
How high art Thou in the highest, and how 
deep in the deepest ! Thou withdrawest no 
whither, and scarcely do we return to Thee. 

CHAP. IV. — HE SHOWS BY THE EXAMPLE OF VIC- 
TORINUS THAT THERE IS MORE JOY IN THE 
CONVERSION OF NOBLES. 

9. Haste, Lord, and act ; stir us up, and call 
us back ; inflame us, and draw us to Thee ; stir 

' See ix. sec. 19, note. 

* Luke XV. 32. 

* Sec xii. sec. 13, and xiii. see. 11, below. 



I20 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VUL 



us up, and grow sweet unto us ; let us now love 
^ Thee, let us " run after Thee." * Do not many 
men, out of a deeper hell of blindness than that 
of Victorinus, return unto Thee, and approach, 
and are enlightened, receiving that light, which 
they that receive, receive power from Thee 
to become Thy sons?' But if they be less 
known among the people, even they that know 
them joy less for them- For when many re- 
joice together, the joy of each one is the fuller, 
in that they are incited and inflamed by one 
another. Again, because those that are known 
to many influence many towards salvation, and 
take the lead with many to follow them. And, 
therefore, do they also who preceded them much 
rejoice in regard to them, because they rejoice 
not in them alone. May it be averted that in 
Thy tabernacle the persons of the rich should 
be accepted before the poor, or the noble before 
the ignoble; since rather **Thou hast chosen 
the weak things of the world to confound the 
things which are mighty ; and base things of the 
world, and things which are despised, hast Thou 
chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring 
to naught things that are.*" And yet, even 
that " least of the apostles,*** by whose tongue 
Thou soundest out these words, when Paulus 
the proconsul* — his pride overcome by the 
apostle's warfare — was made to pass under the 
easy yoke* of Thy Christ, and became a pro- 
vincial of the great King, — he also, instead of 
Saul, his former name, desired to be called 
Paul,' in testimony of so great a victory. For 
the enemy is more overcome in one of whom 
he hath more hold, and by whom he hath hold 
of more. But the proud hath he more hold of 
by reason of their nobility ; and by them of 
more, by reason of their authority.* By how 

» Cam. i. 4. 
■ John i. 12. 

* I Cor. i. 27, 28. 

* I Cor. XV. 9. 

* Acts. xiii. 12. 

* Matt. xi. ^. 

T " • As Scmio, after the conquest of Africa, took the name of 
Africanus. so Saul also, being sent to preach to the Gentiles, brought 
back his trophy out of the first spoils won by the Church, the 
proconsul Sergius Paulus, and set up his banner, in that fur Saul he 
was called Paul ' (Jerome, Comm. in E^. ad Phiiem. init). Ori- 
gen mentions the same opinion (which is indeed suggested by the 
relation in the Acts), but thinks that the apostle had originally two 
names (Prar/. in Comm, in Ep. ad Rom.)^ which, as a Roman, 
may very well have been, and yet that he made use of his Roman 
name Paul first in connection with the conversion uf the proconsul ; 
Chrysostom says that it was doubtless changed at the command of 
God, which is to be supposed, but still may have been at this time." 
— E. B P. 

* ** Satan makes choice o{ persons of place and pmver. These 
are either in the commonwealth or church. If he can, he will secure 
the throne and the pulpit, as the two forts that command the whole 
line. . . A prince or a ruler may stand for a thousand : therefore 
saith Paul to Elymas, when he would have turned the deputy from 
the faith. ' O full of all subtilty, thou child of the devil 1 ' ^Acts. xiii. 
10). As if he had said, * You have learned this of your father the 
devil, — to haunt the courts of princes, wind into the favour of great 
ones. There is a double policy Satan hath in gaining such to his 
side : — {d\ None have sucn advantajge to draw others to their way. 
Corrupt the captain, and it is hard it he bring not off his troop with 
him. When tne prince.s — men of renown in their tribes — stood up 
with Korah, presently a mulutude are drawn into the conspiracy 
(Num. XVI. 2, 19). Let Jeroboam set up idolatry, and Israel is 
soon in a snare. It is said [thatj the people willingly walked after 



much the more welcome, then, wa^he heart b(^ 
Victorinus esteemed, which the de^ had heW 
as an unassailable retreat, and the' tongue of 
Victorinus, with which mighty . a£d cutting 
weapon he had slain many ; so much the more 
abundantly should Thy sons rejoice,«(eeing that 
our King hath bound the strong ma&^and they 
saw his vessels taken from him ana^cleansed,** 
and made meet for Thy honour, and become 
serviceable for the Lord unto every goQd,work." 

CHAP. v. — OF THE CAUSES WHICH ALIENATE US 

FROM GOD. 

10. But when that man of Thine, Sim- 
plicianus, related this to me about Victorinus, 
I burned to imitate him ; and it was for this 
end he had related it. But when he had added 
this also, that in the time of the Emperor Julian, 
there was a law made by which Christians were 
forbidden to teach grammar and oratory," and 
he, in obedience to this law, chose rather to 
abandon the wordy school than Thy word, by 
which Thou makest eloquent the tongues of the 
dumb", — he appeared to me not more brave 
than happy, in having thus discovered an op- 
portunity of waiting on Thee only, which thing 
I was sighing for, thus bound, not with the irons 
of another, but my own iron will. My will was 
the enemy master of, and thence had made a 
chain for me and bound me. Because of a per- 
verse will was lust made ; and lust indulged in 
became custom ; and custom not resisted became 
necessity. By which links, as it were, joined 
together (whence I term it a " chain **), did a 
hard bondage hold me enthralled." But that 

his commandment (Has. v. 11). (^) Should the sin sUy at court, 
and the infection go no further, yet the sin of such a one, though a 
good man, may cost a whole kingdom dear. * Satan stood up 
against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel * (z Chron. 
xxi. i). He owed Israel a spite, and he pays them home in their 
king's sin, which dropped in a fearful plague upon their heads.'*— > 
GuKNALL, The Christian in Complete Armour ^ vol. i. part a. 

• Matt. xii. 29. 

W Luke xi. 2a, 25. 

" 3 Tim. ii. 21. 

IS During the reign of Constantius, laws of a persecuting charac- 
ter were enacted against Paganism, which led multitudes notmifMlfy 
to adopt the Christian faith. When Julian the Apostate came to 
the throne, he took steps immediately to reinstate Paganism in all 
its ancient splendour. His court was filled with Platonic philoso* 
phers and diviners, and he sacrificed daily to the gods. But, instead 
of imitating the example of his predecessor, and enacting laws 
a^^ainst the Christians, ne endeavoured by subtlety to destroy their 
faith. In addition to the measures mentioned by Augustin above, 
he endeavoured to foment divisions in the Church by recalling th^ • 
banished DonatLsts, and stimulating them to disseminate their doc- 
trines, and he himself wrote treatises a^inst it. In order, if pos- 
sible, to counteract the influence of Christianity, he instructed his 
priests to imitate the Christians in their relief of^ the poor and care 
for the sick. Hut while in every way enacting measures of dis- 
ability against the Christians, he showed great favour to the Jews, 
and with the view of confuting the predictions of Christ, went so 
far as to encourage them to rebuild the Temple. 

wWisd. X. 21. 

11 1'herc would appear to be a law at work in the moral and spir- 
itual worlds similar to thai of gravitation in the natural, which 
"acts inversely as the square of the distance." As we are more 
affected, for example, by events that have taken place near us 
either in time or place, than by those which are more remote, so in 
spiritual things, the monitions of conscience would seem to become 
feeble with far greater rapidity than the continuance of our resist- 
ance would lead us to expect, while the power of sin, in like pro- 
portion, becomes strong. When tempted, men see not the raid QMB 



.VL] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



121 



/new will which had begun to develope in me, 

[ fieely to worship Thee, and to wish to enjoy 

J Thee, O God, the only sure enjoyment, was 

/ not able as yet to overcome my former wilful- 

^ neas, made strong by long indulgence. Thus 

did my two wills, one old and the other new, 

one carnal, the other spiritual, contend within 

me; and by their discord they imstrung my 

soul. 

11. Thus came I to understand, from my 
own experience, what I had read, how that 
*' the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the 
Spirit against the flesh.'' ^ I verily lusted both 
wa3rs ; ' yet more in that which I approved in 
myself, than in that which I disapproved in 
m3rself. For in this last it was now rather not 
" I," • because in much I rather suffered against 
my will than did it willingly. And yet it was 
through me that custom became more combat- 
ive against me, because I had come willingly 
whither I willed not. And who, then, can with 
any justice speak against it, when just punish- 
ment follows the sinner?* Nor had I now any 
longer my wonted, excuse, that as yet I hesi- 
tated to be above the world and serve Thee, 
because my perception of the truth was uncer- 
tain ; for now it was certain. But I, still bound 
to the earth, refused to be Thy soldier ; and was 
a> mflih afraid of being freed from all embar- 
rassments, as we ought to fear to be embar- 
rassed. 

12. Thus with the baggage of the world was I 
sweetly burdened, as when in slumber ; and the 
thoughts wherein I meditated upon Thee were 
like unto the efforts of those desiring to awake, 
who, still overpowered with a heavy drowsiness, 
are again steeped therein. And as no one 
desires to sleep always, and in the sober judg- 
ment of all waking is better, yet does a man 
generally defer to shake off drowsiness, when 
there is a heavy lethargy in all his limbs, and, 
though displeased, yet even after it is time to 
rise with pleasure yields to it, so was I assured 
that it were much better for me to give up my- 
self to Thy charity, than to yield myself to my 
own cupidity ; but the former course satisfied 



dw banning. Tlie allurement, however, which at first is but as a 
f g a mmrt thread, is soon felt to have the strensth of a cable. " Evil 
men and seducers wax worse and worse '* (2 Tim. iii. 13^ and when 
it ia too late tStkiey learn that the embrace of the siren is out the pre- 
lude to destructioa. '* Thus," as Gurnall has it ( Tfu Christian in 
Compute Armour^ voL i. part a), '* Satan leads poor creatures 
ilowa into the depths of sin by winding stairs, that let them not see 
die bottom v^iithcr they are going. . . . Many who at this day lie 
ia open pcofaneness. never thought thejr should have rolled so far 
from thetr m o dest y beginnings. O Christians, give not place to 
Satan, no, not an inch, in his first motions. He that is a beggar 
•ad a modest one without doors, will command the house if let m. 
Yield at first, and thou givest away thy strength to resist him in the 
Rst; when the hem is worn, the whole garment will ravel out, if it 
be not mended by timely repentance." See Miiller, Lthre v»n tUr 
S^uU, book v., where the beginnines and alarming progress of evil 
in the soul are graphically describecC See ix. sec. 18. note, below. 

* GaL V. xy. 

t Ses ir. ssc. s6, note, and v. sec. z8, above. 

* Rom. vii. so. 

* See V. sec. s, note 6, above. 



and j^iquished me, the latter pleased me and 
fett^^^ne.^ Nor had I aught to answer Thee 
calling to me, ''Awake, thou that sleepest, and 
arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee 
light."* And to Thee showing me on every 
side, that what Thou saidst was true, I, con- 
victed by the truth, had nothing at all to reply, 
but the drawling and drowsy words: "Pre- 
sently, lo, presently;" "Leave me a little 
while." But "presently, presently," had no 
present; and my "leave me a little while" 
went on for a long while.* In vain did I " de- 
light in Thy law after the inner man," when 
"another law in my members warred against 
the law of my mind, and brought me into cap- 
tivity to the law of sin which is in my mem- 
bers." For the law of sin is the violence of 
custom, whereby the mind is drawn and held, 
even against its will ; deserving to be so held 
in that it so willingly falls into it. "O 
wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me 
from the body of this death" but Thy grace 
only, through Jesus Christ our Lord?* 

CHAP. VI. — PONTITIANUS' ACCOUNT OF ANTONY, 
THE FOUNDER OF MONACHISM, AND OF SOME 
WHO IMITATED HIM. 

13. And how, then, Thou didst deliver me 
out of the bonds of carnal desire, wherewith I 
was most firmly fettered, and out of the drud- 
gery of worldly business, will I now declare and 
confess unto Thy name, " O Lord, my strength 
and my Redeemer."* Amid increasing anxi- 
ety, I was transacting my usual affairs, and daily 

• lilnd piacebat et vinctbat ; hoc libtbat ei vinciebitt. Watts 
renders freely, " But notwithstanding that former course pleased 
and overcame my reason, yet did this latter tickle and enthrall my 
senses." 

• Eph. V. 14, 

' As Bishop^ Wilberforce, eloquently describing this condition of 
mind, says, in hb sermon on The Almost Christian, " New, 
strange wishes were rising in his heart. The Mighty One was 
broooing over its currents, was stirring up its tides, was fain to over- 
rule thetr troubled flow — to arise in open splendour on his eyes ; to 
glorify his life with His own blessed presence. And he himself was 
evidently conscious of the struggle : he was almost won ; he was 
drawn towards that mysterious birth, and he well-nig^ yielded. 
He even knew what was passing within his soul : he could appreci- 
ate something of its importance, of the living value of that moment. 
If that conflict was indeed visible to higher powers around him ; if 
they who longed to keep him in the kingdom of dtu'kncss, and they 
who were ready to rejoice at his repentance — if they could see the 
inner waters of that troubled heart, as they surged and eddied 
underneath these mighty influences, how must they have waited 
for the doubtful choice ! now would they strain their observation to 
see if that almost should turn into an altogbthbr, or die away 
again, and leave his heart harder than it had been before I " 

• Rom. vii. sa-a4. This diMcilis et periciUonu locut {Serm. 
cliv. i) he interprets differently at different periods of his lite. In 
this place, as elsewhere in his writings, he makes the passage refer 
(according to the general interpretation in the Church up to that 
time) to man convinced of sin under the influence of the law, but not 
under grace. In his Retractations, however (i. 33, sec. z) , he points 
out that he had found reason to interpret the passage not of man 
convinced of sin, but of man renewed and regenerated in Christ 
Tesus. This is the view constantly taken in his anti-Pela^an writ- 
mgs, which were published subs^uently to the date of his Confes- 
sions: and indeecf this change in interpretation probably arose from 
the pressure of the Pelagian controversy (see Cim. Duos Ep. Pel. 
i. 10. sees. 18 and 33). and the fear lest the old view should too 
much favour the heretics, and their exaltation of the oowers of the 
natural man to the disparagement of the influence 01^ the grace of 
God. 

•Fs. xix. 14. 



122 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book vm 



sighing unto Thee. I resorted as freq^j^y to 
Thy church as the business, under tW^Pfc-den 
of which I groaned, left me free to do. Alypius 
was with me, being after the third sitting dis- 
engaged from his legal occupation, and await- 
ing further opportunity of selling his counsel, 
as I was wont to sell the power of speaking, if 
it can be supplied by teaching. But Nebridius 
had, on account of our friendship, consented to 
teach under Verecundus, a citizen and a gram- 
marian of Milan, and a very intimate friend 
of us all ; who vehemently desired, and by 
the right of friendship demanded from our 
company, the faithful aid he greatly stood in 
need of. Nebridius, then, was not drawn to 
this by any desire of gain (for he could have 
made much more of his learning had he been 
so inclined), but, as a most sweet and kindly 
friend, he would not be wanting in an office of 
friendliness, and slight our request. But in 
this he acted very discreetly, taking care not to 
become known to those personages whom the 
world esteems great ; thus avoiding distraction 
of mind, which he desired to have free and at 
leisure as many hours as possible, to search, or 
read, or hear something concerning wisdom. 

14. Upon a certain day, then, Nebridius be- 
ing away (why, I do not remember), lo, there 
came to the house to see Alypius and me, Pon- 
titianus, a countryman of ours, in so far as he 
was an African, who held high office in the 
emperor*s court. What he wanted with us I 
know not, but we sat down to talk together, 
and it fell out that upon a table before us, used 
for games, he noticed a book ; he took it up, 
opened it, and, contrary to his expectation, 
found it to be the Apostle Paul, — for he imag- 
ined it to be one of those books which I was 
wearing myself out in teaching. At this he 
looked up at me smilingly, and expressed his 
delight and wonder that he had so unexpectedly 
found this book, and this only, before my eyes. 
For he was both a Christian and baptized, and 
often prostrated himself before Thee our God in 
the church, in constant and daily prayers. When, 
then, I had told him that I bestowed much 
pains upon these writings, a conversation ensued 
on his speaking of Antony,* the Egyptian 

1 It may be well here to say a few words in regard to Monachism 
and Antony's relation to it :—(i) There is much in the later Platon- 
ism, with its austerities and bodily mortifications ^sec vii. sec. 13, 
note 2, above), which is in common with the asceticism of the early 
Church. The Therapeutae of Philo, indeed, of whom there were 
numbers in the neighbourhood of Alexandria in the first century, may 
be considered as the natural forerunners of the Egyptian monks, (a) 
Monachism, according to Sozomen (i. la). had its origin in a desire 
to escape persecution by retirement into the wilderness. It is prob- 
able, however, th.it, as in the case of Paul the hermit of Thebais, 
the desire for freedom from the cares of life, so that by contempla- 
tion and mortification of the body, the Aoy<k or inner reason (which 
was held to be an emanation of God) might be purified, had as 
much to do with the hermit life as a fear of persecution. Mosheim, 
indeed {Ecc. Hist. i. part 2, c. ^), supposes Paul to have been influ- 
enced entirely by these Platomc notions. (1) Antony was bom in 
the district of Thebes, a. d. 2^1, and visited Paul in the Egyptian 
desert a little before his death. To Antony is the world indebted 



monk, whose name was in high repute among 
Thy servants, though up to that time not famil- 
iar to us. When he came to know this, he lin- 
gered on that topic, imparting to us a knowl- 
edge of this man so eminent, and marvelling at 
our ignorance. But we were amazed, hearing 
Thy wonderful works most fully manifested in 
times so recent, and almost in our own, wrought 
in the true faith and the Catholic Church. We 
all wondered — we, that they were so greats and 
he, that we had never heard of them. 

15. From this his conversation turned to thei 
companies in the monasteries, and their man-l 
ners so fragrant unto Thee, and of the fruit full 
deserts of the wilderness, of which we knew 
nothing. And there was a monastery at Milan' 
full of good brethren, without the walls of the 
city, under the fostering care of Ambrose, and 
we were ignorant of it. He went on with his 
relation, and we listened intently and in silence. 
He then related to us how on a certain after- 
noon, at Triers, when the emperor was taken 
up with seeing the Circensian games,* he and 
three others, his comrades, went out for a walk 
in the gardens close to the city walls, and there, 
as they chanced to walk two and two, one 
strolled away with him, while the other two 

went by themselves ; and these, in th^jx lam- 
\ . 

for establishing communities of monks, as distinguished from the 
solitary ascetiCLsm of Paul : he therefore is rightly viewed as the 
founder of Monachism. He appears to have known little more 
than how to s|;>eak his native Coptic, yet during his long life (said 
to have been 100 years) he by his fervent enthusiasm made for him- 
self a name little inferior to that of the " king of men," Athanasms, 
whom in the time of the Arian troubles he stedfastly supported, 
and by whom his life has been handed down to us. Augustin, in 
his De Doctr. Christ. (Prol. sec. 4), speaks of him as '* a just and 
holy man, who, not being able to read himself, is said to have com- 
mitted the Scriptures to memory through hearing them read by 
others, and by dint of wise meditation to have arrived at a thor- 
ough understanding of them." (4) According to Sozomen (iii. 14), 
monasteries had not been established in Europe a. d. ^o. Th^ 
were, Baronius tells us, introduced into Rome about that date by 
Athanasius, during a visit to that city. Athanasius mentions 
" ascetics" as dwelling at Rome a. d. 355. Ambrose, Bishop of 
Milan, Martin, Bishop of Tours, and Jerome were enthusbsdc sup> 
porters of the system. (5) Monachism in Europe presented mote 
of its practical and less of its contemplative side, than in its cradle 
in the East. An example of how the monks of the East did work 
for the good of others is seen in the instance of the monks of Pacho> 
mius; still in this respect, as in matters of doctrine, the West has 
generally shown itself more practical than the East. Probably cli- 
mate and the style of living consequent thereon have much to do 
with this. Sulpicius Severus (dial. i. a, De P'ita Martint) may be 
taken to give a quaint illustration of this, when he makes one ol his 
characters say, as he hears of the mode of living of the Eastern 
monks, that their diet was only suited to aneels. However mis- 
taken we may think the monkish systems to be, it cannot be con- 
cealed that in the days of anarchy and semi-barbarism they were 
oftentimes centres of civilisation. Certainly in its originating idea 
of meditative seclusion, there is much that is wordiy of commenda- 
tion : for, as Farindon has it {IVarJks, iv. 130). " This has been die 
practice not only of holy men, but of heathen men. Thus did 
Tully, and Antony, and Crassus make way to that honour and re- 
nown which they afterwards purchased in eloquence (Cicero, De 
Officiis, il. 13, viii. 7); thus did they pass a sotitudin* in uh^itu, 
a scholis in forum r—* from their secret retirement into the schools, 
and from the schools into the pleading-place.' " 

' Augustin, when comparing Christian with Manichaean asceti- 
cism, says in his De Mor. Eccl. Cath. (sec. 70), '• I saw at Milan 
a lodgine-house of saints, in number not a few, presided over by 
one presbyter, a man of great excellence and Itaming."^ In the 
previous note we have given the generally received opinion, tiliaS 
the first monastery in Europe was established at Rome. It may be 
mentioned here that Muratori maintains that the institution was 
transplanted from the East first to Milan ; others contend that die 
first kuropean society was at Aquileia. 

* See vi. sec la, note x, above. 



Chaf.vii.] the confessions OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 12, 



u. 



blingy came upon a certain cottage inhabited Thee^^Then Pontitianus, and he that hai 

by some of Thy servants, '' poor in spirit/' of walkJ^^h him through other parts of the gar 

whom "is the kingdom of heaven,*'^ where den, came in search of them to the same place 

they fomid a book in which was written the life and having found them, reminded them to re 

of Antony. This one of them began to read, turn as the day had declined. But they, mak 

marvel at, and be inflamed by it ; and in the ing known to him their resolution and purpose 

reading, to meditate on embracing such a life, and how such a resolve had sprung up and be 

and giving up his worldly employments to serve come confirmed in them, entreated them not t( 

Thee. Aid these were of the body called molest them, if they refused to join themselve 

**Agents for Public Affairs.*" Then, suddenly unto them. But the others, no whit changec 

being overwhelmed with a holy love and a sober from their former selves, did yet (as he said] 

' j ' sense of shame, in anger with himself, he cast bewail themselves, and piously congratulatec 

his eyes upon his friend, exclaiming, " Tell them, recommending themselves to theii 

me, I entreat thee, what end we are striving for prayers ; and with their hearts inclining towardj 

by all these labours of ours. What is our aim ? earthly things, returned to the palace. But th< 

What is our motive in doing service ? Can our other two, setting their affections upon heavenlj 

hopes in court rise higher than to be ministers things, remained in the cottage. And both of 

J of the emperor ? And in such a position, what them had affanced brides, who, when the) 

;' is there not brittle, and fraught with danger, heard of this, dedicated also their virginity untc 

and by how many dangers arrive we at greater God. 
i danger? And when arrive we thither? But 

if I desire to become a friend of God, behold, chap. vii. — he deplores his wretchedness, 

; I am even now made it." Thus spake he, and that having been born thirtv-i*wo years, 

in the panjs of the travail of the new life, he he had not vet found out the truth. 

; turned his eyes again upon the page and con- ^^ guch was the story of Pontitiamis. Bui 

I tinued reading, and was mwardly changed ^hou, O Lord, whilst he was speaking, didsi 

» where Thou sawest, and his mind was divested ^^^n me towards myself, taking me from behinc 

of the world, as soon became evident; for as ^^^ ^^^^^ f 1^^ 1^^^^ ^ If ^^ih 

he read, and the surging of his h^rt rolled unwilling to exercise self-scrutiny; and Thoi 

along, he raged awhile, discerned and resolved ^j^st set me face to face with Myself, that ] 

on a better course, and now, having become ^^ ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ f^^l I ^^^ j^^w crookec 

Thme, he said to his friend, " Now have I ^^^ ^^^^-^ bespotted and ulceroas. And ] 

broken W from those hopes of ours and am i^^^eld and loath^ myself; and whither to fl) 

determmed to serve God ; and this, from this ^^^^ ^ jf j discovered not. And if I soughi 

hour, m this place, I enter upon. If thou art ^^ ^^^^' ^^^^ ^ If^ he con 

reluctant to imitate me, hinder me not. The ^j^^^ ^is narrative, and Thou again opposedsi 

other replied that he would cleave to him, to ^^ ^^^^ ^ j^ ^^ thrustedst me before m) 

' share m so great a reward and so great a ser- o^^ eyes, that I might discover my iniquity 

vice. Thus both of them being now Thme, ^^ ^^^ ^^ 4 I ha^ k^^own it, but acted ai 

were buildmg a tower at the necessary cost,*— ^j^^ j^ j j^^^^^ j^ not,— winked at it, and forgo 

of forsaking all that they had and following [^ 

I ' 77 17. But now, the more ardently I lovec 

Roman commentators are ever ready to use this ^i_ i i i^vr i/r^* ti«j*ii r 

as an amiment in favour of monastic povert)r,and thOSe whoSe healthful affectlOnS 1 hearQ tell Ot 



y iUatLr.y. 

] lesCof Scripture as an ami: 

some auy nel disposed from 

pretatkm 



r fed disposed from Its context to imagine such an inter- 4.v,of fVipv hflH tr'wen nn themselves whollv tf 

, to be implied in this place. This, however, can hardly ^"^^ ^"^X "^^ gl>en up inemseives wnoiiy U 

£ be SO. Augustin constantly points out in his sermons, etc in Thee tO bC CUred, the morC did I abhor mysell 

^ what die poverty that b pleasing to God consists. " Pauper Dei," i _j uu 4.u^.^ l.^^« wt»«^<.r r^r *«%< 

f hcjHtys (Si A. c««i,t5). " in animo est, non in saccu^;" aAd whcu Compared With them. I'or many of m) 



I 



f 

f 

J 




ffMrit which puffieth up. Nor ought ble<Medness to begin at any 

other point whatever. If indeed it is to reach the highest wisdom, dom I and Still I WaS delaying tO rCJect men 

' The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' (Ps. cyi. lo); iJi i • ] .Ji oT,..^*^ ««,,^^ir ♦^ 

rhef«», on the other hand also, 'prid?' Is entitled 'the beginning WOrldly happiUCSS, and tO dCVOte mySClf tC 



wnereaa, on uie omer nana aiso, * pnac u entitiea ' tne Degmmng wv/ina*^ tu«,|^pttis,iM, «.x&v<. i.v ^^w^*-^ ...^w^.^i. .^ 

SL^'l!?!!/??*"- *,\l^^' ^ 't* P/ifl''*' ^J*"*^'** *<*^ '^^ ?"3 search out that whereof not the finding alone 

love the kinodoms of the earth : but * blessed are the poor m spirit, ^•*"-" ^**"' " , « , i ^ ^ 

for theinistheieinsdom of heaven.'" but the bare search," ought to have been pre 

*"Agmie*m rtpm*. There was a society of them still about 

the court. Their militia or employments were to gather in the em 



peror's trfbutes; to fetch in offenders; to do Palatini obtequia, < Ps. xxxvi. s. 

<iAoes of court, movide com, etc., ride on errands like messengers * See iil sec. ^, above. 

of die chamber, lie abroad as spies and intelligencers. They were * It is interesting to compare with this passage the views containei 

often pre fer re d to places of magistracy in the provinces ; such were in Augustin's three books. Con. Academicos, — the earliest of hi 

caSiioi Frimci^s 0€ MagUtriani . St. Hierome upon Abdias, c. i, extant works, and written about this time. Licentius there main 

calls Iham mcurngeis. ^Iiey succeeded the Frumentarii, between uins that the " bare search " for truth renders a man happy, whil 

which two and the Cnrtou and the Sptculatoret there was not Trygetius contends that the " findins alone" can produce happi 

much dilfereaoe." — ^W. W. ness. Augustin does not agree with the doctrine of the former, am 

* Luke shr. 36-^ points out that while the Academics held the probable to be attaio 



124 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. tB«^ VDL 

B — - ___ - ^ ll-ll - - ■-..-.-.- ■ ■ ^— . . 

ferred before the treasures and kingdoji^f this it follow me, struggling to go after Thee 1 Yet 
world, though already found, and <|0Re the it drew back ; it refused, and exercised not it- 
pleasures of the body, though encompassing me self. All its arguments were exhausted and 
at my will. But I, miserable young man, confuted. There remained a silent trembling ; 
supremely miserable even in the very outset of and it feared, as it would death, to be restrained 
my youth, had entreated chastity of Thee, and from the flow of that custom whereby it was 
said, " Grant me chastity and continency, but wasting away even to death, 
not yet." For I was afraid lest Thoushouldest 

hear me soon, and soon deliver me from the chap. viii. — ^thk conversation with ALVPros 

disease of concupiscence, which I desired to being ended, he retires to the gasdsn, 

have satisfied rather than extinguished. And I whither his friend follows him. 

had wandered through perverse ways in a sacri- j^ j^^ ^^^^ ^^ of this great strife of 

legious superstition ; not indeed assured thereof my inner dwelling, which I had s&ongly raised 

but preferring tlut to the others, which I did ^p' against my soul in thechamberof my heart,' 

not seek religiously, but opposed maliciously. troubled both in mind and countenance, I 

i8. And I had thought that I delayed from ^^^^^ Alypius, and exclaimed: "What is 

day to day to reject worldly hopes and follow ^.fong with us? What is this? What heardest 

Ihee only, because there did not appear any- ^y^^^f -phe unlearned start up and 'take' 

thing certain whereunto to direct my course, heaven,' and we, with our learning, but wanting 

And now had the day arrived m which I was to heart, see where we wallow in flesh and blood! 

be laid bare to myself, and my conscience was Because others have preceded us, are we ashamed 

to chide me. "Where art thou, O my tongue ? j^ follow, and not rather ashamed at not follow- 

Thou saidst, ven y, that for an uncertain truth ;„ y .. ^^^ ^.^^.^ ^.^^^j^ j utterance to, 

thou wert not willing to cast off the baggage of ^nd in tny excitement flung myself from him, 

vanity. Behold, now it is certain, and yet doth ^.j^ji^ ^^ '^ ^^ j„%.,g„j astonishment, 

that burden still oppress thee ; whereas they who ^^^ j ^^^^ ^^^''-^^ ^.^med tone, and my 

neither have so worn themselves out with search- ^^^^ J^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^f ^^^ J^ 

ing after it, nor yet have spent ten years and expressed my emotion more than the words, 

more in thinking thereon, have had their ^.^ere was a little garden belonging to our lodg- 

shouldeni unburdened, and gotten wings to fly ^ ^f ^^ich we had the use, as of the whole 

away. Thus was I inwardly consumed and ^ouse ; for the master, our landlord, did not 

mightily confounded with an horrible shame, ,5^^ jj,^^ .p^ither had the tempest within my 

whi e Pontitianus was relating th^ things, breast hurried me, where no one might impede 

And he, having finished his story, and the busi- ^j,^ f^ ^^ .^ j„ ^y^-^^ j ^^ engaged with 

ne^ he came for, went his way. And unto my- myself, until it came to the issue thkt Thou 

self, what said I not within myself? With what ^newest, though I did not. But I was mad 

scourges of rebuke lashed I not my soul to make j^at I might he whole, and dying that 1 might 

~ have life, knowing what evil thing I was, but 

:;S:iJ'«ri'dT„^r1Sd7l„'hu7;J'^/:'i^^^^^^ pot knowing what good thing I was shortly to 

that he who seek* truth and finds it not, has not attained happines.s beCOITie. IntO the garden, then, I retired, Aly- 

and that though the cracc of God be indeed guiding him, he must • fr.11r»wi'r»« mv cf^^nc TTnr Viic r»r*>c#>n^^ «rac 

not expect complete hapoiness {Rrtractatiom, i. 2) till after death. PIUS tOllO\^ mg my SlCpS. TOF HIS presence WES 

PerhaM no sounder philosophy can Ije found than that evidenced nO bar tO mv SoHtude I Or hoW COUld he dcseft 

in the life of victor Hugo s good Bishop Mynel, who rested m the ^ i_ 1 j -v iir . j i. *. 

practiceoflove, and was content to look for jperfect happiness, and me SO trOUDleQ ? We Sat QOWn at aS gTCat a 

a full unfolding of God's mysteries, to the future life :—" Aimez- Hi<:tinf*> from \\\p- V»nii<5/» aQ w*» rniilH T 'urflC 

vous les uns les autrcs, il declarait cela complet, ne souhaitait rien distance irom mC HOUSe aS We COUIQ. 1 WaS 

de plus et c'itait lA toute sa doctrine. Un jour, cet homme gui se diSQUietcd in Spirit, being mOSt impatient With 

^Sl?^;?'^^^^^^^^^ myseV that I entered not into Thy will and 

tous; lepVsforta le plus d'esprit Votre aune«-vous les uns les covenant, O my God, which all my bones cricd 

juitres est une betise. — ' Eh bien, repondtt Monseigneur Bienvenu, ' * ... • ^1. 1 • 

sansdisputcr, 'sic'e&tuneb^tise. riraedoits'yenfcrmercommcla OUt UntO me tO enter, eXtoUmg it tO the SKICS. 

perle dans I'huUre.' II s'y cnfermait done, il y vivait,il s'en satis- AnH «r#» #antPT nnfr tV»pr#»in hv <:hirw: nr rhflrir»f« 

Slsait absolumcnt, laijwant de c6ti les questions prodigieuscs qui ^^^ ^^ ^^^^^ "^^ inerem Dy SHipS, OF CliariOlSy 

attirent et qui 6pouvantent, les perspectives in.^oudables de Tab- or feet, nO, nOf by going SO far aS I had COtne 

straction, les precipices de la m6taphysique, toutes ces profondeurs /• ^.u i- *. *.i? *. 1 1 ^-^ -r^ 

convergentes; pour I'apdtre, A Dieu, pou? I'ath^, au ncant : la des- from the hoUSe tO that place whcre We WCtC Slt- 

tinie.le bien et le mal, la guerre de I'etre contre I'eire la con- ^^a For nOt tO gO Only, but tO enter there, 

science de I homme, le somnambuhsme pensifde I animal, la trans- o 1 1 i. -ii i_ mi • 

formation par la mort, la recapitulation d'exlstences qui contient le WaS naUght clse but tO Will tO gO, DUt tO Will it 

r'"^"rii«.nrr:.^"Scr!a1Xi^«>1Jir«r^^^^^^^^ resolutely and thoroughly; not to stagger and 

nature la libertc, la n^essiti ; problimes d pic, epaisseurs sinis- sway aboUt this Way and that, a changeable and 

trcs, ou se penchent les gigantesques archangcs de resprit humain : 11/ j j •ii ^i* -^i. _a /• ti 

formidable* abimes que TUcrcce, Manon.S^nt Paul, et Dante con- half-WOUnded Will, WreStling, With One part UUl- 

templent avec cet oeii fulgurant qui semble, en regardant fixement \r\a oc onnf-hf^r rrt«/> 

rinlini, y faire eclore les etoilcs. Monseigneur Bienvenu ^ait sim- "*e **^ d.iiuiiicr rubC. 

plement un homme qui constatait du dehors les questions mysti- _^^-— _^__-__^__.^_-^___-^^_— __..__mb.»^ 

rieuses ians les scruter. sans les agitev, et sans en troublcr son 

propre esprit ; et qui avait dans I'iUne le grave respect de rombre/' ^ Isa. xxvi. 30, and Matt. vi. (. 

— Z^x Muirabits, c. xiv. S Matt. xi. za. 



CSAT X.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF 



^ 



ao. Finally, in the very fever of my irn 
lution, I made many of those motions with 
f. body which men sometimes desire to do, but 
i cannot, if either they have not the limbs, or if 
j their limbs be bound with fetters, weakentd by 
disease, or hindered in any other way. fhus, 
j if I tore my hair, struck my forehead, or if, en- 
I twining my lingers, I clasped my knee, this 1 
i did bemuse I willed it. But I might have wilWd 
I and not done it, if the power of motion in my 
I limbs had not responded. So many things, 
1 then, I did, when Co have the will was not to 
I have the power, and I did not that which both 
I with an unequalled desire I longed more to do, 
and which shortly when I should will I should 
. have the power to do ; because shortly when 1 
should will, I should will thoroughly. For in 
such things the power was one with the wiil, 
and to will was to do, and yet was it not done ; 
and more readily did the body obey the slight- 
est wish of the soul in the moving its limb^ at 
the order of the mind, than the soul obeyed 
itself to accomplish in the will alone thiii its 
great wiU. 



31. Whence is this monstrous thing? And 
why is it? Let Thy mercy shine on me, that I 
may inquire, if so be the hiding-places of man's 
punishment, and the darkest contritions of the 
sons of Adam, may perhaps answer me. When<:e 
is this monstrous thing ? and why is it ? TJie 
mind commands the bcxiy, and it obeys fonii- 
with ; the mind commands itself, and is resisted. 
The mind commands the hand to be moved, 
and such readiness is there that the command is 
scarce to be distinguished from the obedifnte. 
Yet the mind is mind, and the hand is body. 
The mind commands the mind to will, and yet, 
though it be itself, it obeyeth not. Whence this 
monstrous thing? and why is it? I repeat, it 
commands itself to will, and would not give the 
command unless it willed ; yet is not that dond 
which it commandeth. But it willelh not en-] 
tirely; therefore it commandeth not entirely. t 
For so &r forth it commandeth, as it willetli -^ 
and SO Sir forth is the thing commanded not:' 
done, as it willeth not. For the will command- 
eth that there be a will ; — not another, but itself. 
But it doth not command entirely, therefore 
that is not which it commandeth. For were 
it entire, it would not even command it to be, 
because it would already be. It is, therefore, 
no monstrous thing partly to will, partly to be 
unwilling, but an infirmity of the mind,' that it 
doth not wholly rise, sustained by truth, pressed 
down by custom. And so there are two wills, 
because one of them is not entire ; and the one 
',is supplied with what the other needs. 



CHAP. X. — HE REFUTES THE OPINION OF THS 
MANICHiEANS AS TO TWO KINDS OF MINDS,— 
ONE GOOD AND THE OTHER EVIL. 

12, Let them perish from Thy presence,' O 
Cod,as"vain talkers and deceivers"' of the 
soul do perish, who, observing that there were two 
wills in deliberating, affirm that there are two 
kinds of minds in us, — one good, the other 
evil.' They themselves verily are evil when 
they hold these evil opinions; and they shall 
become good when they hold the truth, and 
shall consent unto the truth, that Thy apostle 
may say unto them, " Ye were sometimes dark- 
ness, but now are ye light in the Lord."' But 
they, desiring to be light, not " in the Lord," 
but in themselves, conceiving the nature of the 
soul to be the same as that which God is,* are 
made more gross darkness ; for that through a 
shocking arrogancy they went farther from 
Thee, "the true Light, which lighteth every 
man that cometh into the world."' Take 
heed what you say, and blush for shame ; draw 
near unto Him and be "lightened," and your 
faces shall not be "ashamed."' I, when I was 
deliberating upon serving the Lord my God 
now, as I had long purposed,^ — I it was who 
willi-d, I who was unwilling. It was I, even I 
myself. 1 neither willed entirely, nor was en- 
tirely unwilling. Therefore was I at war with 
myself, and destroyed by myself. And this 
dcstniction overtook me against my will, and | 
)'e! showed not the presence of another mind, 
but the punishment of mine own.' "Now, 1 
then, it is no more I that do it, but sin / 
that dwelleth in me,"' — the punishment of a | 
more unconfined sin, in that I was a son of \ 
Adam. 

23. For if there be as many contrary natures 
IS there are conflicting wills, there will not now 
Ix; two natures only, but many. If any one 
del iK-rate whether he should go to their con- 
vunlii le, or to the theatre, those men'" at once 
cry out, "Behold, here are two natures, — one 
f;uud, drawing this way, another bad, drawing 
bai k [liat way ; for whence else is this indecision 
Ix'tween conflicting wills?" But I reply that 
iKitli are bad— that which draws to them, and 
[liat n hich draws back to the theatre. But they 
■ve not that will to be other than good which 
,-s to them. Supposing, then, one of us 



< And (liai thcRfixe Ihej were nut mpouible lor iheit *vil deedi, 
il nal being they that tinned, but the PJitUTC of evil in them. See 
iv. r.ci:. 16, tut DDIe, above, where the Manichiean docuina in thii 
nuller an hlllv mated. 

• F.ph. «. 8. 






126 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Bcx>K vra. 



\ should deliberate, and through the conflict of 
his two wills should waver whether he should go 
to the theatre or to our church, would not these 
also waver what to answer? For either they 
must confess, which they are not willing to do, 
that the will which leads to our church is good, 
as well as that of those who have received and 
are held by the mysteries of theirs, or they must 
imagine that there are two evil natures and two 
evil minds in one man, at war one with the 
other; and that will not be true which they say, 
that there is one good and another bad; or 
they must be converted to the truth, and no 
longer deny that where any one deliberates, 
there is one soul fluctuating between conflicting 
wills. 

24. Let them no more say, then, when they 
perceive two wills to be antagonistic to each other 
in the same man, that the contest is between two 
opposing minds, of two opposing substances, from 
two opposing principles, the one good and the 
other bad. For Thou, O true God, dost disprove, 
check, and convince them ; like as when both wills 
are bad, one deliberates whether he should kill a 
man by poison, or by the sword ; whether he 
should take possession of this or that estate of 
another's, when he cannot both ; whether he 
should purchase pleasure by prodigality, or re- 
tain his money by covetousness ; whether he 
should go to the circus or the theatre, if 
both are open on the same day ; or, thirdly, 
whether he should rob another man's house, if 
he have the opportunity ; or, fourthly, whether 
he should commit adultery, if at the same time 
he have the means of doing so, — ^all these things 
concurring in the same point of time, and all 
being equally longed for, although impossible 
to be enacted at one time. For they rend the 
mind amid four, or even (among the vast variety 
of things men desire) more antagonistic wills, 
nor do they yet affirm that there are so many 
different substances. Thus also is it in wills 
which are good. For I ask them, is it a good 
thing to have delight in reading the apostle, or 
good to have delight in a sober psalm, or good 
to discourse on the gospel ? To each of these 
they will answer, **It is good." What, then, 
if all equally delight us, and all at the same 
time ? Do not different wills distract the mind, 
when a man is deliberating which he should 
rather choose ? Yet are they all good, and are 
at variance until one be fixed upon, whither the 
whole united will may be borne, which before 
was divided into many. Thus, also, when above 
eternity delights us, and the pleasure of tem- 
poral good holds us down below, it is the same 
soul which willeth not that or this with an entire 
will, and is therefore torn asunder with grievous 
perplexities, while out of truth it prefers that, 
but out of custom forbears not this. 



CHAP. XI. IN WHAT MANNER THE SPIRIT STRUG- 
GLED WITH THE FLESH, THAT IT MIGHT BE 
FREED FROM THE BONDAGE OF VANITY. 

25. Thus was I sick and tormented, accusing 
myself far more severely than was my wont, 
tossing and turning me in my chain till that was 
utterly broken, whereby I now was but slightly, 
but still was held. And Thou, O Lord, presseckt 
upon me in my inward parts by a severe mercy, 
redoubling the lashes of fear and shame, lest I 
should again give way, and that same slender 
remaining tie not being broken off, it should 
recover strength, and enchain me the faster. For 
I said mentally, ** Lo, let it be done now, let it 
be done now. ' ' And as I spoke, I all but came 
to a resolve. I all but did it, yet I did it not. 
Yet fell I not back to my old condition, but 
took up my position hard by, and drew breath. 
And I tried again, and wanted but very little of 
reaching it, and somewhat less, and then all but 
touched and grasped it ; and yet came not at it, 
nor touched, nor grasped it, hesitating to die 
unto death, and to live unto life ; and the worse„ 
whereto I had been habituated, prevailed more 
with me than the better, which I had not tried. 
And the very moment in which I was to become 
another man, the nearer it approached me, the 
greater horror did it strike into me ; but it did 
not strike me back, nor turn me aside, but kept 
me in suspense. 

26. The very toys of toys, and vanities of 
vanities, my old mistresses, still enthralled me ; 
they shook my fleshly garment, and whispered 
softly, "Dost thou part with us? And from 
that moment shall we no more be with thee 
for ever ? And from that moment shall not this 
or that be lawful for thee for ever?" And 
what did they suggest to me in the words *' this 
or that?" What is it that they suggested, O 
my God ? Let Thy mercy avert it from the 
soul of Thy servant. What impurities did they 
suggest ! What shame 1 And now I far less 
than half heard them, not openly showing 
themselves and contradicting me, but mutter- 
ing, as it were, behind my back, and furtively 
plucking me as I was departing, to make me 
look back upon them. Yet they did delay me, 
so that I hesitated to burst and shake myself 
free from them, and to leap over whither I was 
called, — an unruly habit saying to me, ** Dost 
thou think thou canst live without them? *' 

27. But now it said this very faintly; for on 
that side towards which I had set my face, and 
whither I trembled to go, did the chaste dignity 
of Continence appear unto me, cheerful, but 
not dissolutely gay, honestly alluring me to 
come and doubt nothing, and extending her 
holy hands, full of a multiplicity of good ex- 
amples, to receive and embrace me. There 



■:/ 



Chap. XII.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 1 27 

were there so many young men and maidens, a the business of weeping.* So I retired to such 
multitude of youth and every age, grave widows a distance that even his presence could not be 
and ancient virgins, and Continence herself in oppressive to me. Thus was it with me at that 
all, not barren, but a fruitful mother of children time, and he perceived it ; for something, I 
of joys, by Thee, O Lord, her Husband. And believe, I had spoken, wherein the sound of my 
she smiled on me with an encouraging mockery, voice appeared choked with weeping, and in 
as if to say, ** Canst not thou do what these that state had I risen up. He then remained 
youths and maidens can ? Or can one or other where we had been sitting, most completely 
do it of themselves, and not rather in the Lord astonished. I flung myself down, how, I know 
their God ? The Lord their God gave me unto not, under a certain fig-tree, giving free course 
them. Why standest thou in thine own strength, to my tears, and the streams of mine eyes 
and so standest not ? Cast thyself upon Him ; gushed out, an acceptable sacrifice unto Thee.* 
fear not. He will not withdraw that thou should- And, not indeed in these words, yet to this 
est fall; cast thyself upon Him without fear, effect, spake I much unto Thee, — **But Thou, 
He will receive thee, and heal thee." And I O Lord, how long?'** "How long. Lord? 
blushed beyond measure, for I still heard the Wilt Thou be angry for ever ? Oh, remember 
muttering of those toys, and hung in suspense, not against us former iniquities ; * ' * for I" felt 
And she again seemed to say, ** Shut up thine that I was enthralled by them. I sent up these 
ears against those unclean members of thine sorrowful cries, — ** How long, how long? To- 
upon the earth, that they may be mortified.* morrow, and to-morrow? Why not now? 
They tell thee of delights, but not as doth the Why is there not this hour an end to myi 
law of the Lord thy God."* This controversy uncleanness ? " . 

in my heart was naught but self against self. 29. I was saying these things and weeping in^/ 
But Alypius, sitting close by my side, awaited the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, \Oy^iJy 
in silence* the result of my unwonted emotion. I heard the voice as of a boy or girl, I knowi ' ^ 

not which, coming from a neighbouring house, j ^J^ 
CHAP. XII. — HAVING PRAYED TO GOD, HE POURS chanting, and oft repeating, "Take up and | 
FORTH A SHOWER OF TEARS, AND, ADMONISHED read; take up and read.*' Immediately my' 
BY A VOICE, HE OPENS THE BOOK AND READS countenance was changed, and I began most 
THE wordS in ROM. XIII. 13 J BY WHICH, earnestly to consider whether it was usual for 
BEING changed IN HIS WHOLE SOUL, HE Dis- children in any kind of game to sing such '}^/>>^ 
CLOSES THE DIVINE FAVOUR TO HIS FRIEND words ; nor could I remember ever to have "^ 
AND HIS MOTHER. heard the like. So, restraining the torrent of 

28. But when a profound reflection had, from ™y '^^' ^ '^^ "?' interpreting it no other way 

the secret depths of my soul, drawn together and ^^\^ f "^^Tl^"^ *° "?^ fr°"" ?T^"t °u°P1!J 

heaped up all my misery before the si|ht of my h^Jwok, and to read the first chapter I should 

heart, there aroi a mighty storm, accompanied I'ght upon For I had heard of Antony,' that, 

by as mighty a shower of tears. Which,^hat I accidentally commg m whilst the gospel was 

might p^ur forth fully, with its natural expres- ^^f ^^^ "f '^*=":j^*^ '•^^ admonition as if ^ 

sioSs,I stole away from Alypius; for it sug- w^t was read were addressed to him, " Go and ^, 

gested itself to me that solitude was fitter for ^" ^^}- , ^'O" ^^^ ^"^^ ?'^^ ^° ^^^ P°°^' ^^ % 
^ thou shalt have treasure m heaven ; and come 

,^ .„ and follow me.*" And by such oracle was he 

«p»/«i"x.%, c7/<^wr. forthwith converted unto Thee. So quickly I 

s As in nature, the men of science tell us, no two atoms touch, but yt^Uyrrsf^ frk \\\t^ r^lar^ wHf»r*> A Wniiic wac «il-f inc • 
lat. while an inner maimetism draws them tosrether. a secret renul- retUmed tO tne piaCC WHerC AiypiUS WOS bitting , > 

down the volume of the, 
thence. I grasped, opened, 
can bnng^ soul tothe birth. So it was here in the^cascof Augus- and in silence read that paragraph on which my 

tm. He felt that now even the presence of his dear fnend would be - -,, ^,xt .*."*^ ,, , ^ 

m burden,— God alone could come near, so as to heal the sore w*und CyeS Iirst fell, ** Not in noting and drUUken- 

^Vt^:^i^T^J^^:^^^;::i^TJ:^VZ'''^:^'cZ-. ness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in 

fortable a thing to find in those who would give consolation the spirit Strife and envvinff I but put ye OU the Lordv^ 
that animated the friends of Job, when " they sat down with him r /^i_ •*. Ji *. •• r *.i- \ 

upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and «^«^ j/a/fr< a JeSUS ChHSt, and make nOt prOVlSlOU tOr the \ 

f!^rd 'i>ao ki'm ; for they ^w th;ith» gri J w^^^^^ flcsh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."^" No further ' 

u. 13). Well has Rousseau said :" Les consolations indiscretes ne /it t •••i-r i/-* 1 

font qu'ai^r les violentes afflictions. L' indifference et la froideur WOUld I read, nor did I need j for instantly, 33 

trouvent augment des parolo*, mais la tristesse et /f silence sont 

aloTs le vrai langase dc I amitii." A beautiful exemplification of this 

ji found in Victor Hugo's portrait of Bishop Myriel, in Les Misir^ 

ables (c iv.)» from which we have quoted a few pages back : — " II ^ 5>ee note 3, page 71. 

savait s*a9*eoir et se taire dt tongues heures aupr^ de Thomme qui * x Pet. ii. 5. 

avail perdu la femme qu'ii aimait, de la mere qui avait perdu son * Fs. vi. ^. 

enfant. Comme il savait le moment de se taire, il savait aussi le ^ Ps. Ixxix. 5, 8. 

moment de parler. O admirable consolateur ! il ne cherchait pas i * See his'Z^ by St. Athanasius, sees. 2, 3. 

cffaoer la douleur par I'oubli, mais 4 Tagrandir et i la dignifier par * Matt. xix. ai. 

Pesp^rancc." 10 Rom. xiiu 13, 14. 



■-.> 






y^ 




128 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book VIIL 



the sentence ended, — ^by a light, as it were, of 
security infused into my heart,— -^1 the gloom 
of doubt vanished away. 

30. Closing the book, then, and putting 
either my finger between, or some other mark, 
I now with a tranquil countenance made it 
known to Alypius. And he thus disclosed to 
me what was wrought in him, which I knew not» 
He asked to look at what I had read. I showed 
him; and he looked even further than I had 
read, and I knew not what followed. This it 
was, verily, "Him that is weak in the faith, 
receive ye ; ** ^ which he applied to himself, and 
discovered to me. By this admonition was he 
strengthened; and by a good resolution and 
purpose, very much in accord with his character 
(wherein, for the better, he was always far dif- 
ferent from me), without any restless delay he 

1 Rom. ziv. X. 



joined me. Thence we go in to my mother* 
We make it known to her, — she rejoiceth. We 
relate how it came to pass, — she leapeth for joy, 
and triumpheth, and blesseth Thee, who art 
"able to do exceeding abundantly above all 
that we ask or think ; ' for she perceived Thee 
to have given her more for me than she used to 
ask by her pitiful and most doleful groanings. 
For Thou didst so convert me unto Thyself, 
that I sought neither a wife, nor any other of 
this world's hopes, — standing in that rule of 
faith* in which Thou, so many years before,; 
had showed me unto . her in a vision. And' 
thou didst turn her grief into a gladness,* much 
more plentiful than she had desired, and much 
dearer and chaster than she used to crave, by 
having grandchildren of my body. 

« Eph. iii. ao. 

* Sec book iii. sec 19. 

* Ps. XXX. XI. 



-. t 

*'~* ^ 



r 






; « 



BOOK IX. 

HE SPEAKS OF HIS DESIGN OF FORSAKING THE PROFESSION OF RHETORIC; OF THE DEATH OF HIS 
FRIENDS, NEBRIDIUS AND VERECUNDUS ; OF HAVING RECEIVED BAPTISM IN THE THIRTY-THIRE 
YEAR OF HIS AGE ; AND OF THE VIRTUES AND DEATH OF HIS MOTHER, MONICA. 

CHAP. I. — HE PRAISES GOD, THE AUTHOR OF swceter than all pleasure, though not to flesli 

i- ^ t SAFETY, AND JESUS CHRIST, THE REDEEMER, and blood ; brighter than all light, but more 

f ACKNOWLEDGING HIS OWN WICKEDNESS. veiled than all mysteries ; more exalted than all 

• I. "O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am ^^"^^.^/ ^"^J^^* ^^ *^^ exalted in their own 
^ Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid : ^onc^'^s. Now was my soul free from the 

Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to ^^^'^.^ ^^^^ ^^ seekmg and getting, and of 

\ Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving.-^ Let my 7f?Zi^ ^"^ ^^'^^"^ ^^^ ^^^,^ ^^ ^"^^- . ^^^ 

* heart and my tongue prai^Thee, and let all ^ ^^^^^ "^5^^ J^^ "^y brightness, my riches, 
my bones say, " Lord, who is like unto Thee ? - « and my health, the Lord my God. 
Let them so say, and answer Thou me, and '* say 

unto my soul, I am Thy salvation. ' ' • Who am '^l^.'Zf. ,'^!Lll'l^,J!^^LtZ^^J^'J^ 
I, and what is my nature ? How evil have not 
my deeds been ; or if not my deeds, my words ; 

or if not my words, my will? But Thou, O 2. And it seemed good to me, as before Thee, 

Lord, art good and merciful, and Thy right not tumultuously to snatch away, but gently tc 

hand had respect unto the profoundness of my withdraw the service of my tongue from the 

death, and removed from the bottom of my talker's trade ; that the young, who thought not 

heart that abvss of corruption. And this was on Thv law. nor on Thv oeace. but on menda- 



MEDITATES WITHDRAWING HIMSELF FROM PUB- 
LIC FAVOUR. 





thoujoUedsLi But where, purchase at my mouth equipments 



iiig illl lllOiSe years, and out of what deep vehemence. And opportunely there wanted 

d secret retreat was my free will summoned but a few days unto the Vacation of the Vin- 

forth in a moment, whereby I gave my neck to tage;' and I determined to endure them, in 

Thy "easy yoke," and my shoulders to Thy order to leave in the usual way, and, being re- 

*' light burden,** •O Christ Jesus, "my strength deemed by Thee, no more to return for sale, 

and my Redeemer " ?• How sweet did it sud- Our intention then was known to Thee; but to 

denly become to me to be without the delights men — excepting our own friends — ^\v'as it not 

of trifles ! And what at one time I feared to lose, known. For we had determined among our- 

it was now a joy to me to put away.' For Thou selves not to let it get abroad to any ; although 

didst cast them away from me. Thou true and Thou hadst given to us, ascending from the 

highest sweetness. Thou didst cast them away, valley of tears,*° and singing the song of degrees, 

and instead of them didst enter in Thyself,® — "sharp arrows," and destroying coals, against 

iPkcxvi «6~x *^^ '* deceitful tongue," " which in giving coun- 

*/itd. XXXV. xo. 

, • /Siii. XXXV. 3, puUive Power o/ a New Affection (the ninth of his ** Commercia] 

I 4 Valebeu^ though a few mss. have nciebas : and Watts accord- Discourses "), where this idea is expanded. 

i Vi^y renders "nuledst. ' * " In harvest and vintage time h:id the lawyers their vacation, 

i •Matt, xi. y>. So Minutius Felix. Scholars, their Non Terminus, as here; yea, 

' *Ps. xix. 14. divinity lectures and catechizings then ceased. So Cyprian, iS/. a. 

7 Archbbhop Trench, in his exposition of the parable of the Hid 'llie law terms gave way also to the great festivals of the Church. 

Treasure, which the man who found sold all that he had to buv, Theodosius forbade any process to go out from fifteen days before 

remarks oo this passage cS the Con/esttums : " Augustin excellently Elaster till the Sunday after. For the four Terms, see Caroli Calvi, 

illustrates from hjs own experience tnis part of the parable. Describ- Capitula, Act viii. p. 90." — W. W. 

ing the crisis of his own conversion, and how easy he found it, ^^ Ps. Ixxxiv. 6. 

throi^di diis joy. to give up all those pleasures of sin that he had " Ps. cxx. 3, 4, according to the Old Ver. This passage, has 

loog dreaded to oe ooligcd to renounce, which had long held him many difficulties we need not enter into. The Vulgate, however, 

&st bound in die chains of evil custom, and which if he renounced, we may say, renders verse % : " Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur 

U had seemed to htm as though life itself would not be worth the liv> tibi ad linguam dulosam,'* — that is, shall be given as a defence 



he exclaims, ' How sweet did it suddenly become to me,* " etc. 



we 

tibi 

against the tonnes of evil speakers. In this way Augustin undcr^ 

stands it, and m his commentary on this place makes the fourth 



*Hit love of earthly thin^ was expelled by the indwelling love 
of God, " for^** as he says m his De Musica, vi. 5a, " the love of verse give the answer to the third. Thus, '" sharp arrows '* he in 
die tldogs 01 time could only be expelled by some sweetness of 1 terprets to be the word of God. and " destroying coals " those who^ 
ttdogs ftrmfl. " ComfMure aJao Dr. Chalmers' sermon on The Ex- ' being converted to Him, have become examples to the ungodly. 

129 



I30 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Book DC 

sel opp)oses, and in showing love consumes, as Thou, O most merciful Lord, pardoned and 

it is wont to do with its food. remitted this sin also, with my others, so horri- 

3. Thou hadst penetrated our hearts with ble and deadly, in the holy water ? 
Thy charity, and we carried Thy words fixed, 

as it were, in our bowels ; and the examples of chap. m. — he retires to the villa of his 

Thy servant, whom of black Thou hadst made friend verecundus, who was not yet a 

bright, and of dead, alive, crowded in the christian, and refers to his conversion 

bosom of our thoughts, burned and consumed and death, as well as that of nebridius. 

our heavy torpor that we might not topple into Verecundus was wasted with anxiety at 

the abyss; and they enkindfed us exceedingly, ^^^ ^^j. happiness, since he, being most finnly 

tnat every breath of the deceitful tongue of the j^^j^j ^y his bonds, saw that he would lose our 

gainsayer might inflame us the more, not extin- fellowship. For he was not yet a Christian, 

guishus. Nevertheless, becau^ for Thy names j^ough his wife was one of the faithful;* and 

sake which Ihou hast sanctified throughout the ^ ^^^. ^- ^^re finnly enchained than 

^th, this, our vow and purpose, might also ^ anything else, was he held back from that 

find commenders, it looked like a vaunting of j^„^„^ ^^^j^^ we had commenced. Nor, he 

oneself not to wait for the vacation, now so declared, did he wish to be a Christian on any 

near, but to leave beforehand a public profes- ^^^^^ ^^^^^ j,^^„ tj,^,^ ^1,^^ ^.^.e impossible, 

sion and one, too, under general observation ; However, he invited us most courteously to 

so that all who looked on this act of mine, and ^^e use of his country house so long as we 

saw how near was the vintage-time I desired to ^^ould stay there. Thou, O Lord, wilt '« rec- 

anticii^ate, would talk of me a great deal as if ompense" him for this "at the resurrection of 

I were trying to appear to be a great person, the just," » seeing that Thou hast already given 

And wliat purix)se would it serve that people him " the lot of the righteous."* Foralthough, 

should consider and disfiiite about my intention, ^,,en we were absent at Rome, he, being over- 

and that our good should be evil si>oken of?' ^^^en with bodily sickness, and therein being 

4. Furthermore, this very summer, from too ^^^^e a Christian, and one of the faithful, de- 
great literary labour, my lungs' began to be paned this life, yet hadst Thou mercy on him, 
weak, and with difficulty to draw deep breaths; ^^ ^^^ ^^ him only, but on us also;' lest, 
showing by the pams m my chest that they thinking on the exceeding kindness of our ■ 
were affected, and refusing too loud or pro- ^^-^^^ f^ ^^^ ^„^hle to count him in Thy 

With intolerable 
our God, we are 

... J J L ».....^. rhy exhortations, consolations, and 

could be cured and become strong again, at f^j^j^f^ promises assure us that Thou now re- • 

least to leave it off for a while. But when the Verecundus for that country house at 

full desire for leisure, that I might see that Thou ^-^i^cum, where from the fever of the world 

"' 'JJ^Hlit' ^'i°'*' ^"'^t'*'^ confirmed in me, ^.^ ^^^^^ ^^^ j^ Thee, with the perpetual fresh- 

'^^H'^u' i T" °'''^' ^ T" ^^^T u° '■^^""'^ ness of Thy Paradise, in that Thou hast for- 

that I had this excuse ready,— and that not a .^^ ^j^ ^his earthly sins, in that mountain 

feigned one -which might somewhat temper ^^^.j^ ^-^^^ ^jl^ , that fruitful mountain,— 

the offence taken by those who for their sons ^rhine own 

good w«hed me never to have the freedom of ^ ^^ ^{^^^ ^.^^t that time full of grief; but 

sons I-ull, therefore, with such joy, I bore . j^ebridius was joyous. Although he also, not 

till that period of time had pasied.-perhaps it ^ ^ Christian, had fallen into the pit of 

was some twenty days,-yet they were bravely that most pernicious error of believing Thy Son 

borne; for the cupidity which was wont to sus- ^^ ^ ^ pfiantasm,' yet, coming outlhence, he 

tain jxirt of this weighty business had dei)artea, 

and I had remained overwhelmed had not its '.^ . , 

, t 1- J I i.- o r -r*!- 4 See VI. sec. I, nole, above. 

place been supi^lied by patience. Some of ihy • Luke xiv. 14. 

servants, my brethren, may perchance say that J phi^r^a^' 

I sinned in this, in that having once fully, and MJteraliy, ^ «r»«/r /«rajfa/<>" the mountain of cunls/'fi^ 
r I ^ *. J •x.i. r r the C^/</ JVr. of Ps. Ixviii. 16. The Vulgate xcx\A^r& coagulatu*. 
trom my heart, entered on 1 hy warfare, 1 I)er- But the Authorized version is nearer the true meaning, when it 
mitted myself to sit a single hour in the seat of «n<l«» D'^^?^- hunched, as '• high." The LXX. render* it rcrv- 
falsehood. I will not contend. But hast not ^^^^^^ condensed,;^^ if from nr^.J. cheese. This divergence 
arises from the unused root J^j, to be curved, having derivatives 

' Rom. xiv. 16. 

> In his He I'iia Beat a, sec. 4, and Con. Acad. 
alludes to this weakness of his chest. He was therefore 

up his professorship, partly from this cause, and partly from a desire parallels 

to devote himself more entirely to God's service. See also p. X15, erace that comes from Him for Christ's little ones : Ipxe est mens 

note. tncaseatus , propter parvulos gratia tanquam lacte nutrundct^ 

» Ps. ilvi. xo, • See v. xo, note, above. 




Chap. IV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



131 



held the same belief that we did ; not as yet 
initiated in any of the sacraments of Thy 
Church, but a most earnest inquirer after truth.* 
Whom, not long after our conversion and re- 
generation by Thy baptism, he being also a 
Siithful member of the Catholic Church, and 
ser\'ing Thee in perfect chastity and continency 
amongst his own people in Africa, when his 
whole household had been brought to Christi- 
anity through him, didst Thou release from the 
flesh ; and now he lives in Abraham's bosom. 
Whatever that may be which is signified by that 
bosom," there lives my Nebridius, my sweet 
friend, Thy son, O Lord, adopted of a freed- 
man ; there he liveth. For what other place 
could there be for such a soul ? There liveth 
he, concerning which he used to ask me much, 
— me, an inexperienced, feeble one. Now he 
puts not his ear unto my mouth, but his spiritual 
mouth unto Thy fountain, and drinketh as 
much as he is able, wisdom according to his 
desire, — happy without end. Nor do I believe 
that he is so inebriated with it as to forget me,' 
seeing Thou, O Lord, whom he drinketh, art 
mindful of us. Thus, then, were we comfort- 
ing the sorrowing Verecundus (our friendship 
being untouched, concerning our conversion, 
and exhorting him to a faith according to his 
condition, I mean, his married state. And 
tarrying for Nebridius to follow us, which, 
being so near, he was just about to do, when, 
behold, those days passed over at last ; for long 
and many they seemed, on account of my love 
of easeful liberty, that I might sing unto Thee 
from my very marrow. My heart said unto 
Thee, — I have sought Thy face; ** Thy face. 
Lord, will I seek. * ' * 

CHAP. IV. — IN THE COUNTRY HE GIVES HIS ATTEN- 
TION TO LITERATURE, AND EXPLAINS THE 
FOURTH PSALM IN CONNECTION WITH THE 
HAPPY CONVERSION OF ALVPIUS. HE IS TROU- 
BLED WITH TOOTHACHE. 

7. And the day arrived on which, in very 
deed, I was to be released from the Professor- 
ship of Rhetoric, from which in intention I had 

1 5>ce vi, 17, note 6, above. 

« Though Augustin, in his Quasi. Evang. ii. qu. 38, makes 
Abraham s bosom to represent the rest into which the Gentiles 
entered after the Jews had put it from them, yet he, for the most 
part, in common with the early Church (see Serm. xiv. 3; Con. 
/•aust. xxxiii. 5 : and E^s. clxiv. 7, and clxxxvii. Compare also 
Tertullian, ZV Aninta, Iviii ), takes it to mean the resting-place of 
the souls of the righteous after death. Abraham's bosom, indeed, 
is the same as the "Paradise" of Luke xxiii. 43. l*hc souls of 
the £iithful after they are delivered from the flesh are in "joy and 
felicity" {De Civ. Dei, \. 1^, and xiii. 19); but they will not have 
"their perfect consummation and bliss both in hodv and soul" 
tintil the morning of the resurrection, when thev shall be endowed 
with "spiritual bodies." See note p. 111 ; ana for the difference 
between the f3if^ of Luke xvi. 23, that is, the place of departed 
spiriu, — into which it is said in the Apostles' Creed Christ de- 
scended, — and WcKKa, or Hell, see Campbell on The Gospels ^ i. 
a53- In the A. V. both Greek words are rendered " Hell." 

• See sec. yj, note, below. 

♦ Ps. xxvii. 8. 



.5J 



been already released. And done it was ; and 
Thou didst deliver my tongue whence Thou 
hadst already delivered my heart ; and full of 
joy I blessed Thee for it, and retired with all 
mine to the villa.* What I accomplished here 
in writing, which was now wholly devoted to 
Thy service, though still, in this pause as it 
were, panting from the school of pride, my 
books testify,* — those in which I disputed with 
my friends, and those with myself alone* before 
Thee ; and what with the absent Nebridius, my 
letters* testify. And when can I find time to 
recount all Thy great benefits which Thou be- 
stowedst upon us at that time, especially as I 
am hasting on to still greater mercies? For 
my memory calls upon me, and pleasant it is to 
me, O Lord, to confess unto Thee, by what 
inward goads Thou didst subdue me, and how 
Thou didst make me low, bringing down the 
mountains and hills of my imaginations, and 
didst straighten my crookedness, and smooth 
my rough ways;' and by what means Thou 
also didst subdue that brother of my heart, 
Alypius, unto the name of Thy only-begotten, 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which he 
at first refused to hav^ inserted in our writings. 
For he rather desired that they should savour 
of the ** cedars'* of the schools, which the Lord 
hath now broken down," than of the wholesome 
herbs of the Church, hostile to serpents. 

8. What utterances sent I up unto Thee, my 
God, when I read the Psalms of David," those 
faithful songs and sounds of devotion which ex- 
clude all swelling of spirit, when new to Thy 
true love, at rest in the villa with Alypius, a 
catechumen like myself, my mother cleaving 
unto us, — in woman's garb truly, but with a 
man's faith, with the peacefulness of age, full 
of motherly love and Christian piety ! What 
utterances used I to send up unto Thee in those 
Psalms, and how was I inflamed towards Thee 
by them, and burned to rehearse them, if it 



* As Christ went into the wilderness after His baptism (Matt. iv. 
i), and Paul into Arabia after his conversion (Gal. i. X7), so did 
Augustin here find in his retirement a preparation for nis future 
work. He tells us of this time of his life {Ve Ordin. i. 6) that his 
habit was to spend the beginning or end, and often ahnost half the 
night, in watcning and searching for truth, and says further {iHd. 
39), that " he almost daily asked God with tears that his wounds 
mizht be healed, and often proved to himself that be was unworthy 
to be healed as soon as he wished." 

* These books are {Con. Acad. i. 4) his three disputations Against 
the Academics : his De Vita Beata, be^n {ibid. 6) " Idibus 
Novembris die ejus natali;" and {Retract. 1. 3) nis two books Di 
Ordine. 

7 That is, hi.s two books of Soliloquies. In his Retractations , L 
4, sec. I, he tells us that in these books he held an argument,-^ 
nte interrogans, mikique respondent ftanquam duo essemus , ratio 
et ego. 

> Several of these letters tx> Nebridius will be found in the twf 
vols, of Inters in this series. 

* Luke iii. 5. 
io Ps. xxix. 5, 

II Reference may with advantage be made to Archbishop Trench's 
Hulsean Lectures (1845), who in his third lect., on " The Mani- 
foldness of Scripture," adverts to this very passage, and shows in 
an interesting way how the Psalms have ever been to the saints of 
God, as I.Aitner said, "a Bible in little," affording satisfaction to 
their needs in every kind of trial, emergency, and experience. 



132 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book DC 



were possible, throughout the whole world, 
against the pride of the human race ! And yet 
they are sung throughout the whole world, and 
none can hide himself from Thy heat.* With 
what vehement and bitter sorrow was I indig- 
nant at the Manichseans; whom yet again I 
pitied, for that they were ignorant of those 
sacraments, those medicaments, and were mad 
against the antidote which might have made 
them sane ! I wished that they had been 
somewhere near me then, and, without my be- 
ing aware of their presence, could have beheld 
my face, and heard my words, when I read the 
fourth Psalm in that time of my leisure, — how 
that Psalm wrought upon me. When I called 
upon Thee, Thou didst hear me, O God of my 
righteousness ; Thou hast enlarged me when I 
was in distress ; have mercy upon me, and hear 
my prayer.* Oh that they might have heard 
what I uttered on these words, without my 
knowing whether they heard or no, lest they 
should think that I spake it because of them ! 
For, of a truth, neither should I have said the 
same things, nor in the way I said them, if I 
had perceived that I was heard and seen by 
them ; and had I spoken them, they would not 
so have received them as when I spake by and 
for myself before Thee, out of the private feel- 
ings of my soul. 

9. I alternately quaked with fear, and warmed 
with hope, and with rejoicing in Thy mercy, O 
Father. And all these passed forth, both by 
mine eyes and voice, when Thy good Spirit, 
turning unto us, said, O ye sons of men, how 
long will ye be slow of heart? "How long 
will ye lov^ vanity, and seek after leasing ? " ' 
For I had loved vanity, and sought after leas- 
ing. And Thou, O Lord, hadst already magni- 
fied Thy Holy One, raising Him from the dead, 
and setting Him at Thy right hand,* whence 
from on high He should send His promise,* the 
Paraclete, '*the Spirit of Truth.'' • And He 
had already sent Him,^ but I knew it not ; He 
had sent Him, because He was now magnified, 
rising again from the dead, and ascending into 
heaven. For till then ** the Holy Ghost was 
not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet 
glorified.'** And the prophet cries out, How 
long will ye be slow of heart ? How long will 
ye love vanity, and seek after leasing ? Know 
this, that the Lord hath magnified His Holy 
One. He cries out, '* How long ? '* He cries 
out, "Know this," and I, so long ignorant, 
*' loved vanity, and sought after leasing." And 



» Ps. xix. 6. 

* Ps. ;v. I. 

■ 3id. yer. 23. 

* Eph. i. 20. 

* Luke xxiv. 49. 

* Joh«. jl'w. 16, 17, 
' Acts ii. 1-4. 

9 John vii. 39. 



therefore I heard and trembled, because these 
words were spoken unto such as I remembered 
that I myself had been. For in those phan- 
tasms which I once held for truths was there 
*' vanity " and *' leasing." And I spake many 
things loudly and earnestly, in the sorrow of 
my remembrance, which, would that they who 
yet ** love vanity and seek after leasing" had 
heard ! They would perchance have been 
troubled, and have vomited it forth, and Thou 
wouldest hear them when they cried unto Thee;* 
for by a true*® death in the flesh He died for us, 
who now maketh intercession for us" with 
Thee. 

10. I read further, ** Be ye angry, and sin 
not. " " And how was I moved, O my God, who 
had now learned to ** be angry" with myself 
for the things past, so that in the future I might 
not sin I Yea, to be justly angry ; for that it 
was not another nature of the race of darkness" 
which sinned for me, as they affirm it to be who 
are not angry with themselves, and who trea- 
sure up to themselves wrath against the day of 
wrath, and of the revelation of Thy righteous 
judgment." Nor were my good things" now 
without, nor were they sought after with eyes 
of flesh in that sun ; *• for they that would have 
joy from without easily sink into oblivion, and 
are wasted upon those things which are seen 
and temporal, and in their starving thoughts do 
lick their very shadows. Oh, if only they were 
wearied out with their fasting, and said, ** Who 
will show us any good?"" And we would 
answer, and they hear, O Lord. The light of 
Thy countenance is lifted up upon us." For 
we are not that Light, which lighteth every 
man," but we are enlightened by Thee, that we, 
who were sometimes darkness, may be light in 
Thee.* Oh that they could behold the internal 
Eternal," which having tasted I gnashed my 
teeth that I could not show It to them, while 
they brought me their heart in their eyes, 
roaming abroad from Thee, and said, "Who 
will show us any good?" But there, where I 
was angry with myself in my chamber, where I 
was inwardly pricked, where I had offered my 
''sacrifice," slaying my old man, and begin- 
ning the resolution of a new life, putting my 
trust in Thee,** — there hadst Thou begun to 
grow sweet unto me, and to ** put gladness in 

» Ps. iv. I. 

w Sec V, 16^ note, above, 
11 Rom. viii. 34. 
»« Eph. iv. 26. 
IS See iv. 26, note, above. 
1* Rom. ii. 5. 
»» Ps. iv. 6. 

w See V. x2, note, above. 
" Ps. iv. 6. 

i» John i. 9. 
»Eph. V. 8. 

n Internum ttiernum, but some mss. read imUmum lumen 
srternutn. 
« Ps. iv. 5. 



Cuw. VL] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



133 



my heart."' And I cried om as I read thin 
outwardly, and felt it inwardly. Nor would I 
be increased' with worldly goods, wasting time 
and being wasted by time ; whereas I possessed 
in Thy eternal simplicity other com, and wine, 
and oU.' 

II, And with a loud cry from my heart, I 
called out in the following verec, "Oh, in 
peace! " and " the self-same ! '" Oh, what said 
he, "I will lay me down and sleepl'" For 
who shall hinder us, when " sliall be brought to 
pass the saying that is «-ritten. Death is swal- 
lowed up in victory?"* And Thou art in the 
highest degree "the self-same," who changes! 
not ; and in Thte is the rest which forgetteth 
all labour, for there is no other beside Thee, 
nor ought we to seek after those many other 
things which are not what Thou art ; but Thou, 
Lord, only makest me to dwell in hope.' 
These things I read, jnd was inflamed ; but 
discovered not what to do with those deaf and 
dead, of whom I had been a pestilent member, 
— a bitter and ablind declaimer against the writ- 
ings bc-honied with the honey of heaven and 
luminous with Thine own light; and I was 
consumed on account of the enemies of this 
Scripture. 

la. When shall I call to mind all that took 
place in those holidays ? Yet neither have I for- 
gotten, nor will I be silent about the severity of 
Thy scourge, and the amazing quickness of 
Thy mercy.' Thou didst at that time to 
me with toothache;* and when it had bei 
so exceeding great that I was not able to sj 
it came into my heart to urge all mv friem 
who were present to pray for me lo 'Fhee, thi 
God of all manner of health. And I w 
down on wax," and gave it to them to readJ 



' worldly wtodn," h( 






Tc«.«..'m. 

> Pi. It. 9, Xfe- 

I Cwnrurc the beautiful TKlmudira 
Tmlot iW^it. Yin. J5J. EJtn-. ed.l, 
dbriEl mai Atichac]. Uabricl has, tw 



• la hii Ssli/mtuirM [iR 
hii period. He Uien K 
vcvctMed hE> Leu-ning ui 

Quiiicer'l ikvcnHion of the aganicA he ha'd to ctidlire Froni UKXh- 
Khc m hii OHt/riilAl 4^ ■■ Ofiiim E^cr. 

» That a, on the wmun uhlel lued \rf ihe anrienu. The iron 
ttitui, or pencU, uied for writiiid, wu painted at one end and flat- 
Bied at ine other — the flattened circular end being uicd Iq enuc 
the writing try imoQlhing down the wai. HeDC« vrrim Ul/um 
ufi&a la fnl tul 01 arrttl. See kc. 19, below. 



Presently, as with submissive desire we bowed/ 
our knees, that pain departed. But what pain ?f j. 
Or how did it depart? I confess to being f 
much afraid, my Lord my God, seeing thd / 
from my earliest years I had not experienced/ 
such pain. And Thy purposes were profoundly 
impressed upon me ; and, rejoicing in faith, ff 
praised Thy name. And that feith suffered nJe 
not to be at rest in regard to my past sinjf, 
which were not yet forgiven me by Thy bap- 
tistn. ' 

iP. V. — AT THE RECOMMENDATION OF AMBROSE, 
le READS THE PKUPHBLIES OF ISAIAH, BUT 
MJES NOT UNDESLSTAND THEM. 

3. The vintage vacation being ended, I gave 
citizens of Milan notice that they might 
provide their scholars with another seller of 
words ; because both of ray election to serve 
Thee, and my inability, by reason of the diffi- 
ulty of breathing and the pain in my chest, to 
ontinue the Professorship. And by letters I 
notified to Thy bishop," the holy man Ambrose, 
my former errors and present resolutions, with 
* ;w to his advising me which of Thy books 
is best for me to read, so that 1 might be 
readier and fitter for the reception of stich 
great grace. He recommended Isaiah the 
Prophet ; " I believe, because he foreshows more 
clearly than others the gospel, and the calling 
of the Gentiles. But I, not understanding the 
first portion of the book, and imagining the 
whole to be like it, laid it aside, intending to 
take it up hereafter, when belter practised in 
our Lord's words. 

tJHAP, VI. HE IS BAPTIZED AT MILAN WITH 

ALYPIUS AND HIS SON ADEODATUS. THE BOOK 
"DE MAlllSTRO." 

14. Thence, when the time had arrived at 
■hich I was to give in my name," having left 
the country, we returned lo Milan. Alypius 
also was plea.sed to be born again with me in 
Thee, being now clothed with the humility 
appropriate to Thy sacraments, and being so 
brave a tamer of the body, as with unusual for- 
titude to tread the frozen soil of Italy with his . 
naked feet. We took into our company the 
boy Adeodatus, born of me carnally, of my sin. 
Well hadst Thou made him. He was barely 



l> In hl> Df dr. Dri, inU. n, be likewiie alludH [o the evangel- 
a1 character of the writings of Itakh. 

i» "They were hapliied at Eaiiar.nndpvenplhelroamej before 
H iccoad Sunday in l^ent, the rot of which they wen id spend in 

rcrmll. LA.drBafl. C.'«>1. Therrfqre went thev to Milan, that 
K biiihttpntigfallcetheirpreiHtatloB. . 



134 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book IX. 



fifteen years, yet in wit excelled many grave 
and learned men.^ I confess unto Thee Thy 
gifts, O Lord ray God, Creator of all, and of 
exceeding power to reform our deformities ; for 
of me was there naught in that boy but the sin. 
For that we fostered him in Thy discipline. 
Thou inspiredst us, none other, — Thy gifts I 
confess unto Thee. There is a book of ours, 
which is entitled T7i^ Master} It is a dialogue 
between him and me. Thou knowest that all 
things there put into the mouth of the person 
in argument with me were his thoughts in his 
sixteenth year. Many others more wonderful 
did I find in him. That talent was a source of 
awe to me. And who but Thou could be the 
worker of such marvels? Quickly didst Tliou 
remove his life from the earth ; and now I re- 
call him to mind with a sense of security, in 
that I fear nothing for his childhood or youth, 
or for his whole self. We took him coeval with 
us in Thy grace, to be educated in Tliy disci- 
pline ; and we were baptized,' and solicitude 
about our past life left us. Nor was I satiated 
in those days with the wondrous sweetness of 
considering the depth of Thy counsels concern- 
ing the salvation of the human race. How 
greatly did I weep in Thy hymns and canticles, 
deeply moved by the voices of Thy sweet- 
speaking Church ! The voices flowed into 
mine ears, and the truth was poured forth into 
my heart, whence the agitation of my piety 
overflowed, and my tears ran over, and blessed 
was I therein. 

CHAP. VII. — OF THE CHURCH HYMNS INSTITUTED 
AT MILA'N ; OF THE AMBROSIAN PERSECUTION 
RAISED BY JUSTINA ; AND OF THE DISCOVERY 
OF THE BODIES OF TWO MARTYRS. 

15. Not long had the Church of Milan be- 
gun to employ this kind of consolation and 
exhortation, the brethren singing together with 
great earnestness of voice and heart. For it 
was about a year, or not much more, since Jus- 
tina, the mother of the boy-Emperor Valenti- 
nian, persecuted* Thy servant Ambrose in the 



1 In his De Vita Beata, sec. 6, he makes a similar illusion to the 
genius of Adco<iatus. 

2 This book, in which he and hi* son are the interlocutors, will 
be found in vol. i. of the Benedictine edition, and is by the editors 
assumed to be written .ibout K. D. 339. Augustin brieny ^ivcs its 
argument in hi^ Retr,iciiili>ns, i. 12. He says: " There Jl is dis- 
puted, sought, and discovered that there is no master who teaches 
man knowledge save God, as it is written in the gospel (Matt, xxiii. 
10), * One is your Master, even Christ.' " 

• He was baptized by Ambrose, and tradition says, as he came 
out of the water, they sang alternate verses of the Te Dcutn 
(ascribed by -iorae to Ambrose), which, in the old offices of the 
Knelish Church is called " The Song of Ambrose and Augustin." 
In his Can. Julian. Pelag. i. 10, he speaks of Ambrose as being one 
whose devoted labours and perils were known throughout the whole 
Roman world, and says : " In Christo enim Jesu per evangeliuni 
ipse me genuit, et eo Ckristi ministro larnicrutn reeenfrationis 
<tccepi." Sec also the last sec. of his De Nupt. et toncup., and 
Ep, cxlvii. 23. In notes 3, p. 50, and 4, p. 89, will be found refer- 
ences to the usages of the early Church as to oaptism . 

4 The BLsho]> of Milan who preceded Ambrose was an Arian, and 
though Valentinian the First approved the choice of Ambrose as 



interest of her heresy, to which she had been 
seduced by the Arians. The pious people kept 
guard in the church, prepared to die with their 
bishop, Thy servant. There my mother. Thy 
handmaid, bearing a chief part of those cares 
and watchings, lived in prayer. We, still 
unmelted by the heat of Thy Spirit, were yet 
moved by the astonished and disturbed city. 
At this time it was instituted that, after the 
manner of the Eastern Church, hymns and 
psalms should be sung, lest the people should 
pine away in the tediousness of sorrow ; which 
custom, retained from then till now, is imitated 
by many, yea, by almost all of Thy congrega- 
tions throughout the rest of the world. 

16. Then didst Thou by a vision make 
known to Thy renowned bishop* the spot 
where lay the bodies of Gervasius and IVo- 
tasius, the martyrs (whom Thou hadst in Thy 
secret storehouse preserved uncorrupted for so 
many years), whence Thou mightest at the fit- 
ting time produce them to repress the feminine 
but royal fury. For when they were revealed 
and dug up and with due honour transferred to 
the Ambrosian Basilica, not only they who were 
troubled with unclean spirits (the devils con- 
fessing themselves) were healed, but a certain 
man also, who had been blind • many years, 
a well-known citizen of that city, having 
asked and been told the reason of the people's 
tumultuous joy, rushed forth, asking his guide 
to lead him thither. Arrived there, he begged 
to be permitted to touch with his handkerchief 
the bier of I'hy saints, whose death is precious 
in Thy .sight.' When he had done this, and 
put it to his eyes» they were forthwith opened. 
Thence did the fame spread ; thence did Thy 
praises burn, — shine ; thence was the mind of 
that enemy, though not yet enlarged to the 
wholeness of believing, restrained from the fury 
of persecuting. Thanks be to Thee, O my 
God. Whence and whither hast Thou thus led 
my remembrance, that I should confess these 



bishop, lustina, on his death, greatly troubled the Church. Am« 
brose subsequently had great influence over both Valentinian the 
Sec<»nd and his brother (iratian. The persecution referred to 
above, says Pusey, was "to mduce him to give up to the Arians a 
church, — the Portian Basilica without the walls; afterwards she 
asked for the new Basilica within the wails, which was larger." 
See Ambrose, EPP. 20-22 ; Serpn.c. Auxetitiutft de Utisiiicisira' 
dendis, pp. 852-880. cd. Bencd. ; cf. Tilkn'ont, Hist. Eccl. St. 
Amhroise, art. 44-48, pp. 76-82. Valentinian was then at Milan. 
See next sec, the beginning of note. 

* Antistiti. 

^ Augustin alludes to this, amongst other supposed miracles, in 
his De Ci7'. Dei, .xxii 8; and again in Sertti. cclxxxvi. sec. 4, 
where he tells us that the man, after being cured, made a vow that 
he would for the remainder of his life serve in that Basilica where 
the bodies of the martyrs lay. St. Ambr(»se also examines the 
miracle at great length in one of his sermons. We have already 
referred in note 5, d. 69 to the origin of these false miracles in 
the early Church. I>ccture vi. scries 2. of Blunt's Lectures em tkt 
Right L'se of Ike Early Fathers, is devoted to an examination of 
the various passages in the Ante-Nicenc Fathers where the contimi- 
ance of miracles m the Church is either expressed or implied. The 
reader should also refer to the note on p. 485 of vol. ii. of the City 
0/ God, in this series. 

' Ps. cxvi. 15. 



CKAF.Vra.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



U5 



things also unto Thee, — great, (hough I, forget- 
(ul, had passed them over? And yet then, 
when the "savour" of Thy "ointments" was 
so fragrant, did we not "run after Thee.'" 
And so I did the more abundantly weep at the 
singing of Thy hymns, formerly panting for 
Thee, and at last breathing in Thee, as far as 
the air can play in this house of grass. 

CHAP. Vin. — OF THE COMVERSION OF EVODIUS, 
AND THE DEATH OF HIS MOTHER WHEN RE- 
TURNING WITH HIM TO AFRICA; AND WHOSE 
EDUCATION HE TENDERLY REEATES. 

1 7- Thou, who makest men to dwell of one 
mind in a house,' didst associate with us Evo- 
dius also, a young man of our city, who, when 
serving as an agent for Public Affairs,' was con- 
verted unto Thee and baptized prior to us; and 
relinquishing his secular service, prepared him- 
self for Thine. We were together,' and together 
were we about to dwell with a holy purpose. 
We sought for some place where we might be 
most useful in our ssrvice to Thee, and were 
going back together to Africa. And when we 
were at the Tiberine Ostia my mother died. 
Much I omit, having much to hasten. Receive 
my confessions and thanksgivings, O my God, 
for innumerable things concerning which I am 
silent. But I will not omit aught that my soul 
has brought forth as to that Thy handmaid who 
brought me forth, — in her flesh, that 1 might be 
bom to this temporal light, and in her heart, 
tliat I might be bom to life eternal.' I will 
speak not of her gifts, but Thine in her; for 
she neither made herself nor educated herself. 
Thou createdsl her, nor did her father nor her 
mother know what a being was to proceed from 
them. And it was the rod of Thy Christ, the 
discipline of Thine only Son, that trained her 
in Thy fear, in the house, of one of Thy faith- 
ful ones, who was a sound member of Thy 
Church. Yet this good discipline did she not 
so much attribute to the diligence of her mother, 
as that of a certain decrepid maid-servant, who 
had carried about her father when an infant, as 
little ones are wont to be carried on the backs 
of elder girls. For which reason, and on ac- 
count of her extreme age and very good char- 
acter, was she much respected by the heads 
of that Christian house. Whence also was 
committed to her the care of her master's 
daughters, which she with diligence performed, 

• pi. iniif.'f 



and was earnest in restraining them when nec- 
essary, with a holy severity, and instructing 
them with a sober sagacity. For, excepting at 
the hours in which they were very temperately fed 
at their parents' table, she used not to permit 
them, though parched with thirst, to drink even 
water; thereby taking precautions against an 
evil custom, and adding the wholesome advice, 
" You drink water only because you have not 
control of wine ; but when you have come to 
be married, and made mistresses of storeroom 
and cellar, you will despise water, but the habit 
of drinking will remain." By this method of 
instruction, and power of command, she re- 
strained the longing of their tender age, and 
regulated the very thirst of the girls to such a 
becoming limit, as that what was not seemly 
they did not long for. 

i8. And yet — as Thine handmaid related to 
me, her son — there had stolen upon her a love 
of wine. For when she, as being a sober 
maiden, was as usual bidden by her parents to 
draw wine from the cask, the vessel being held 
under the opening, before she jKtured the wine 
into the bottle, she would wet the tips of her 
lips with a little, for more than that her inclina- 
tion refused. For this she did not from any 
craving for drink, but out of the overflowing 
buoyancy of her lime of life, which bubbles up 
with sportiveness, and is, in youthful spirits, 
wont to be repressed by the gravity of elders. 
And so unto that little, adding daily littles (for 
."he that contemneth small things shall fall by 
little and little ' '),' she contracted such a habit as 
to drink off eagerly her little cup nearly full of 
wine. Where, then, was the sagacious old 
woman with her earnest restraint ? Could any- 
thing prevail against a secret disease if Thy 
medicine, O Lord, did not watch over us? 
Father, mother, and nurturers absent. Thou 
present, who hast created, who callest, who also 
by those who are set over us workest some good 
for the salvation of our souls, what didst Thou 
at that time, O my God ? How didst Thou 



* Ecclu». nil. 1. Ausu»tih ifciii 

Ihfl pluucs of Eovu. — riny jpi-.-.' 
will be u tinmSI u theliUc Ml 



iji )mtke 

he. &^ 

'. few Jfb^ 



irF'amM.'^^il 



ArUM.. ' 



lo liB mothcr't Usui and prayen 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



I3« 

heal her? How didst Thou make her whole? 
Didst Thou not out of another woman's soul 
evoke a hard and bitter insult, as a surgeon's 
knife from Thy secret store, and with one thrust 
remove ail that putrefaction?' For the maid- 
servant who used to accompany her to the cellar, 
Mling out, as it happens, with her little mis- 
tress, when she was alone with her, cast in her 
teeth this vice, with very bitter insult, calling 
her a " wine-bibber." Stung by this taunt, she 
perceived her foulness, and immediately con- 
demned and renounced it. Even as friends by 
their flattery pervert, so do enemies by their 
taunts often correct us. Yet Thou renderest 
not unto them what Thou dost by them, but 
what was proposed by them. For she, being 
angry, desired to irritate her young mistress, 
not to cure her; and did it in secret, either 
because the time and place of the dispute found 
. them thus, or perhaps lest she herself should be 
exposed to danger for disclosing it so late. 
But Thou, Lord, Governor of heavenly and 
earthly things, who convertest to Thy purposes 
the deepest torrents, and disposest the turbulent 
current of the ages,' healest one soul by the 
unsoundness of another; lest any man, when 
he remarks this, should attribute it unto his own 
power if another, whom he wishes to be re- 
formed, is so through a word of his. 



[boobh. 



CHAP. IX, — HE DESCRIBES THE 

HABITS OF HIS MOTHER; HEK KINDNESS TO- 
WARDS HER HUSBAND AND HER SONS. 

ig. Being thus modestly and soberly trained, 
and rather made subject by Thee to her parents, 
than by her parents to Thee, when she had ar- 
rived at a marriageable age, she was given to a 
husband whom she served as her lord. And 
she busied herself to gain him to Thee, preach- 
ing Thee unto him by her behaviour ; by which 
Thou inadest her fair, and reverently amiable, 
and admirable unto her husband. For she so 
bore the wronging of her bed as never to have 
any dissension with her husband on account of 
it. For she waited for Thy mercy upon him, 
that by believing in Thee he might become 
chaste. And besides this, as he was earnest in 
friendship, so was he violent in anger ; but she 



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i ham] aod God'n courkI huul bcfbrc doc 




done. Pc 


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aun of Hl> infiniu knowledgt 




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ghu kmt brfbre IP^ «"ix. 




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I had learned that an angry husband should not 
' be resisted, neither in deed, nor even in word. 
j But so soon as he was grown calm and tranquil, 
I and she saw a fitting moment, she would gin 
I him a reason for her conduct, should he hare 
'been excited without cause. In short, while 
many matrons, whose husbands were more gen- 
tle, carried the marks of blows on their dis- 
honoured faces, and would in private conversa- 
tion blame the lives of their husbands, she would 
blame their tongues, monishing them gravely, 
as if in jest ; " That from the hour they heard 
what are called the matrimonial tablets* read to 
them, they should think of them as instruments 
whereby they were made servant; so, being 
always mindful of their condition, they ought 
not to set themselves in opposition to thdr 
lords." And when they, knowing what ■ 
furious husband she endured, marvelled that it 
had never been reported, nor apj^ared by any 
indication, that Patricius had beaten his wife, 
or that there had been any domestic strife be- 
tween them, even for a day, and asked her in 
confidence the reason of this, she taught them 
her rule, which 1 have mentioned above. They 
who observed it exp>erienced the wisdom of it, 
and rejoiced ; those who observed it not were 
kept in subjection, and suffered. 

20. Her mother-in-law, also, being at first 
prejudiced against her by the whisperings of 
evil-disposed servants, she so conquered by sub- 
mission, persevering in it with patience and 
meekness, that she voluntarily disclosed to her 
son the tongues of the meddling servants, 
whereby the domestic peace between herself 
and her daughter-in-law had been agitated, 
I'^^ggmg him to punish them for it. When, 
therefore, he had— in conformity with his 
mother's wish, and with a view to the discipline 
of his family, and to ensure the future harmony 
of its members — coirected with stripes those 
discovered, according to the will of her who 
had discovered them, she promised a similar 
reward to any who, to please her, should say 
anything evil to her of her daughter-in-law. 
And, none now daring to do so, they lived 
together with a wonderful sweetness of mutual 
good-will. 

21. This great gift Thou bestowedst also, ray 
God, my mercy, upon that good handmaid of 
Thine, out of whose womb Thou createdst me, 

' Thai is, not only Ima ihe lime of actual marriage, Ihii (ram iha 
lime of betrnthal, when the cunuact wu wriuen upun ublMi (•<« 
note 10, p. 133). and signed hy the contraciing panlo. The lunin 
wife wai then called i/tfisa iptrata nTfiKia. AugustiD alludeB to 

ihe aft ajKed bride {/Arf« f/AUf ) ftlwuld not iminedlately be aiw 

he'longed notfcir" {mm mfirat-cril i/sum). Il'thnuld be n- 
tnembered, in reading this uclion, that women amoiwl the Roiuilt 
were not confined after the Eastern fa^hiun of the Giecks to aeiM- 

^e trainiof of the childicD. 



Chaf.x.] the confessions of ST. AUGUSTIN. I37 

even that, whenever she could, she showed her- from the crowd, we were resting ourselves for 

self such a peacemaker between any differing the voyage, after the fatigues of a long journey. 

and discordant spirits, that when she had heard We then were conversing alone very pleasantly ; 

on both sides most bitter things, such as swell- and, ** forgetting those things which are behind, 

ing and undigested discord is wont to give vent and reaching forth unto those things which are 

to, when the crudities of enmities are breathed before,*'* we were seeking between ourselves in 

out in bitter speeches to a present friend against the presence of the Truth, which Thou art, of 

an absent enemy, she would disclose nothing what nature the eternal life of the saints would 

about the one unto the other, save what might be, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 

avail to their reconcilement. A small good this neither hath entered into the heart of man.* 

might seem to me, did I not know to my sor- But yet we opened wide the mouth of our heart, 

row countless persons, who, through some hor- after those supernal streams of Thy fountain, 

rible and far-spreading infection of sin, not only ** the fountain of life,** which is " with Thee ; *' • 

disclose to enemies mutually enraged the things that being sprinkled with it according to our 

said in passion against each other, but add some capacity, we might in some measure weigh so 

things that were never spoken at all ; whereas, high a mystery. 

to a generous man, it ought to seem a small 24. And when our conversation had arrived 

thing not to incite or increase the enmities of at that point, that the very highest pleasure of 

men by ill-speaking, unless he endeavour like- the carnal senses, and that in the very brightest 

wise by kind words to extinguish them. Such material light, seemed by reason of the sweetness 

a one was she, — Thou, her most intimate In- of that life not only not worthy of comparison, 

structor, teaching her in the school of her heart, but not even of mention, we, lifting ourselves 

22. Finally, her own husband, now towards with a more ardent affection towards **the Self- 
the end of his earthly existence, did she gain same,'*' did gradually pass through all corpo- 
over unto Thee ; and she had not to complain real things, and even the heaven itself, whence 
of that in him, as one of the faithful, which, sun, and moon, and stars shine upon the earth ; 
before, he became so, she had endured. She yea, we soared higher yet by inward musing, and 
was also the servant of Thy servants. Whoso- discoursing, and admiring Thy works ; and we 
ever of them knew her, did in her much mag- came to our own minds, and went beyond them, 
nify, honour, and love Thee ; for that through that we might advance as high as that region of 
the testimony of the fruits of a holy conversa- unfailing plenty, where Thou feedest Israel' for 
tion, they perceived Thee to be present in her ever with the food of truth, and where life is 
heart. For she had *'been the wife of one that Wisdom by whom all these things are made, 
man," had requited her parents, had guided both which have been, and which are to come; 
her house piously, was ** well-reported of for and she is not made, but is as she hath been, 
good works,*' had'* brought up children,*** as and so shall ever be; yea, rather, to ** have 
often travailing in birth of them' as she saw been,*' and "to be hereafter,'* are not in her, 
them swerving from Thee. Lastly, to all of us, but only ** to be,'* seeing she is eternal, for to 
O Lord (since of Thy favour Thou sufferest Thy ** have been " and ** to be hereafter " are not 
servants to speak), who, before her sleeping in eternal. And while we were thus speaking, 
Thee,' lived associated together, having re- and straining after her, we slightly touched her 
ceived the grace of Thy baptism, did she devote with the whole effort of our heart ; and we 
care such as she might if she had been mother sighed, and there left bound '* the first-fruits of 
of us all ; served us as if she had been child of the Spirit ; " " and returned to the noise of our 
all. own mouth, where the word uttered has both 

beginning and end. And what is like unto 

CHAP. X. — A CONVERSATION HE HAD WITH HIS Thy Word, our Lord, who remaineth in Him- 

MOTHER CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF self without becoming old, and *'maketh all 

HEAVEN. things new " ? *® 

23. As the day now approached on which she 25. We were saying, then. If to any man the 
was to depart this life (which day Thou knewest, ^"^^"^^ ^^ ^^f flesh were silenced,-~silenced the 
we did not), it fell out-Thou, as I bejieve, by Phantasies of earth, waters, and air, -silenced 
Thy secret ways arranging it-that she and I ^^^' the poles ; yea, the very soul be silenced 
stood alone, laming in a certain window, from ^° ^^'^^^^ ^^^ g^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^"^- 

which the garden of the house we occupied at 

Ostia could be seen ; at which place, removed 4 Phii. iii. 13. 

& I Cor. ii. 9 ; Isa. Ixiv. 4. 

■ — — — • Ps, xxxvi. 9. 

T Ps. iv. 8, yuJigr. 

* X Tim. V. 4, 9, xo, 14. • Ps. Ixxx. 5. 

• Gal. iv. X9. • Rom. viii. 33. 
» 2 Thas. iv. X4. w Wisd. vU. 27. 



138 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Book IX. 

ing of herself, — silenced fancies and imaginary for a short time unconscious of visible things, 
revelations, every tongue, and every sign, and We hurried up to her; but she soon regained 
whatsoever exists by passing away, since, if any her senses, and gazing on me and my brother 
could hearken, all these say, '* We created not as we stood by her, she said to us inquiringly, 
ourselves, but were created by Him who abideth ** Where was I ? '* Then looking intently at 
for ever:'* If, having uttered this, they now us stupefied with grief, "Here,** saith she, 
should be silenced, having only quickened our ** shall you bury your mother.** I was silent, 
ears to Him who created them, and He alone and refrained from weeping ; but my brother 
speak not by them, but by Himself, that we may said something, wishing her, as the happier lot, 
hear His word, not by fleshly tongue, nor an- to die in her own country and not abroad, 
^elic voice, nor sound of thunder, nor the ob- She, when she heard this, with anxious counte- 
scurity of a similitude, but might hear Him — nance arrested him with her eye, as savouring 
Him whom in these we love — without these, of such things, and then gazing at me, " Be- 
like as we two now strained -ourselves, and with hold,** saith she, ** what he saith; ** and soon 
rapid thought touched on that Eternal Wisdom after to us both she saith, ** Lay this body any- 
which remaineth over all. If this could be sus- where, let not the care for it trouble you at all. 
tained, and other visions of a far different kind This only I ask, that you will remember me at 
be withdrawn, and this one ravish, and absorb, the Lord's altar, wherever you be.** And 
and envelope its beholder amid these inward when she had given fcrth this opinion in such 
joys, so that his life might be eternally like that words as she could, she was silent, being in pain 
one moment of knowledge which we now sighed with her increasing sickness, 
after, were not this " Enter thou into the joy of 28. But, as I reflected on Thy gifts, O thou 
Thy Lord'*?* And when shall that be ? When invisible God, which Thou instillest into the 
we shall all rise again ; but all shall not be hearts of Thy faithful ones, whence such mar- 
changed.* vellous fruits do spring, I did rejoice and give 
26. Such things was I saying ; and if not after thanks unto Thee, calling to mind what I knew 
this manner, and in these words, yet, Lord, Thou before, how she had ever burned with anxiety 
knowest, that in that day when we were talking respecting her burial-place, which she had pro- 
thu3, this world with all its delights grew con- vided and prepared for herself by the body of 
temptible to us, even while we spake. Then her husband. For as they had lived very 
said my mother, ** Son, for myself, I have no peacefully together, her desire had also been 
longer any pleasure in aught hi this life. What (so little is the human mind capable of grasping 
I want here further, and why I am here, I know things divine) that this should be added to that 
not, now that my hopes in this world are satis- happiness, and be talked of among men, that 
fied. There was inde.ed one thing for which I after her wandering beyond the sea, it had been 
wished to tarry a little in this life, and that was granted her that they both, so united on earth, 
that I might see thee a Catholic Christian before should lie in the same grave. But when this 
I died.' My God has exceeded this abundantly, uselessness had, through the bounty of Thy 
so that I see thee despising all earthly felicity, goodness, begun to be no longer in her heart, 
made His servant, — what do I here?" I knew not, and I was full of joy admiring 

what she had thus disclosed to me ; though in- 

CHAP. XI. — HIS MOTHER, ATTACKED BY FEVER, deed in that our conversation in the window 

DIES AT OSTIA. also, when she said, **What do I here any 




sick, she one day sank into a swoon, and was ^P^^^ing with certain of my »....v.. ... .u. .««- 

•^ ' tcmning of this life, and the blessing of death; 

and when they — ^amazed at the courage which 

1 Matt. XXV. ai i ,, „ u u j .. Thou hadst Lnven to her, a woman — asked her 

z I ^^or. XV. ^i however is wc sHnll <ill be chAnffcd ^ ' 

" Dean Stanley {OtntcrhuVy serM(ms , %^xra. lo) tfruws the foi- whether she did uot dread leaving her body at 

lowing, amongst other lessons, from God's dealings with Augustin. o.^.U « Hiefinr-^ from hpr axcn r-ifv «:hp rpn1i#»H 

•• it is an example," he says, " like the convcr>ion of St. Haul, of ^"^'^ ^ QlStanCC irOUl ncr OW n CIC) , SnC reptieO, 

the fact that from time to time God calls HLs servants not by gradual, ** Nothillg is far tO God I UOr lieed I fear IcSt 

but by sudden changes, The-ie conversions are, it is tnie, the ex- ttiiji-' ^^.^i. jr..i u 

ccptions and not the rule of Providence, but such examples as Augus- We ShOUld be IgUOraUt at the end Ol tlie WOriCl 

tin show us that wc must acknowledge the truth of the executions Qf ^he placc whence He is to raise me up." 

when they do occur. It is also an instance how, even m such sud- i • i i /• i • i \ \ 

den conversions, previous good influences have their weight. The On the ninth day, then, Of her SlckueSS, thC j 

prayers of his mother, the silent influence of his friend, the high riv civfli vpar of lipr n<yp inH tViP fhirfv \\\\rA ' 

character of Ambrose, the preparation for Christian truth in the "»t>-SlXtn year OI Iier age, aUQ tUC iniriy-inira . 

writings of heathen philosophers, were all laid up, as it were, of mine, WaS that religioUS and deVOUt SOUl SCt i 

wattuig for the spark, and, when it came, the nre flashed at once r r ^.i. i j i 

through every corner of his soul." free from the body. ' 



i 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



»39 



29. I closed her eyes; and there flowed a 
great sadness into my heart, and it was passing: 
into tears, when mine eyes at the same lime, by 
the violent control of my mind, sucked back 
the fountain dr>-, and woe was me in such a 
struggle ! But, as soon a*: she breathed her last, 
the boy Adeodatus buret out into wailing, but, 
being checked by us all, he became quiet. In 
like manner also my own childish feehng, which 
was, through the youthful voice of my heart, 
finding escape in tears, was restrained and 
»lenced. For we did not consider it fitting to 
celebrate that funeral with tearful plaints and 
groanings ; ' for on such wise are they who die 
unhappy, or are altogether dead, wont to be 
mourned. But she neither died unhappy, nor 
did she altogether die. For of this were we 
as.iured by the witness of her good conversation, 
her "faith unfeigned,"' and other sufficient 
grounds. 

30. What, then, was that which did griev- 
ously pain me within, but the newly-made 
wound, from having tl^l most sweet and dear 
habit of living together suddenly broken off? 
I was lull of joy indeed in her testimony, when, 
in that her last illness, flattering my dutifulness, 
she called me " kind," and recalled, with great 
affection of love, that she had never heard any 
harsh or reproachful sound coine out of my 
mouth against her. But yet, O ray God, who 
madest us, how can the honour which I paid to 
her be compared with her slavery for mef As, 
then, I was left destitute of so great comfort in 
her, my soul was stricken, and that life torn 
apart as. it were, which, of hers and mine to- 
gether, had been made but one. 

31. The boy then being restrained from 
weeping, Evodius took up the Psalter, and be- 
gan to sing=— the whole house responding — the 
Psalm, " I will sing of mercy and judgment ; 
unto Thee, O Lord."' But when they heard 



' For tliB would be 10 virmw u Ihou ihu have no hofpt. 
CinrMHtim (ccoTdinKl]' frcquenily relink« the Kinsn cuitom uf 
hirinB pcncm id will for the dead i«t t. g. Ihm. xxxW. in Mall.) - 
and AiiKiBlln in Strm. 9 of hrs /V Canial. Mar. mako (he uine 

mui in wearing black u Ihe ttigr. uf mcHininig. Boi uill |u in hit 
own aam on ihc d«lh of hi* ni.dher) ha ailmha ihit iHiR i> BfTief 
n of friends tlut it baih natural and icanly. In a 
•K in hH />f LIT', liti din. t), he ufi ; " that he 
■t none of iliii sadnew niiv, if Dbwihle, have nn 
ouTH. . . . Ia him burK wiih nilhleiiB inacmi- 
It of ««ry human rdaliumhip ;" and he coBClnuei, \ 
cure ii effected all the iBiirc easily and raindly the 









Thi> w« the prhnlilve foihlnn : Naiianien aari thai •an 
•iuer CoTCOnia'i Iip> muttered the fininh Pufm : ' 1 wil 
in puce and tleep.^ Ai St. Au^icn lay a dyinii, ihe 
praMl (PoaiidA Tlial ihev had praycn bcioeen ihe 
andburial. ace Tcnull. Di Anima, c. si. They used to 
al the dcpanun jLBd burial. N'aiianien. Orat. in.nyi 



what we were doing, many brethren and reli- 
gious women came together ; and whilst they 
whose office it was were, according to custom, 
making ready for the funeral, I, in a part of the 
house where I conveniently could, together 
with those who thought that I ought not to be 
left alone, discoursed on what was suited to the 
occa.sion ; and by this alleviation of truth miti- 
gated the anguish known unto Thee — they be- 
ing unconscious of it, listened intently, and 
thought me to be devoid of any sense of sorrow. 
But in Thine ears, where none of them heard, 
did I blame the softness of my feelings, and re- 
strained the flow of my grief, which yielded a 
little unto me; but Ihe paroxysm relumed 
again, though not so as to burst forth into tears, 
nor to a change of countenance, though I knew 
what I repressed in my heart. And as I was 
exceedingly annoyed that these human things 
had such power over mt-,' which in the due 
order and destiny of our natural condition must 
of necessity come to pass, with a new sorrow I 
sorrowed for my sorrow, and was wasted by a 
twofold sadness. 

31. So, when the body was carried forth, we 
both went and returned without tears. For 
neither in those prayers which we poured forth 
unto Thee when the sacrifice of ourredemption* 
was- offered up unto Thee for her, — the dead 
body being now placed by the side of the grave, 
as the custom there is, prior to its being laid 
therein, — neither in their prayers did I shed 
tears ; yet was I most grievously sad in secret 
all the day, and with a troubled mind entreated 
Thee, as I was able, to heal my sorrow, but 
Thou didst not ; fixing, I believe, in my mem- 
ory by this one lesson the power of the bonds 
of all habit, even upon a mind which no w, feeds ' 
n gt upon a f^acious wquJ- Tt" appeared to me 
also a good tTing to go and bathe, I having 
heard that the bath [/ialneum~\ took its name 
from the Greek fiaHinshru, because it drives 
trouble from the mind. Lo, this also I confess 
Thy mercy, "Father of the fatherless,"* 
that I bathed, and felt the same as before I had 
done so. For the bitterness of my grief exuded 
from my heart. Then I slept, and on 
awaking found my grief not a little mitigated ; 
and as I lay alone upon ray bed, there came 



q iif the njturaitiJBV ai 



rt m the £"? 



/M, xlv. 0. 
It Ihe •acrAice 

»hM! (.) TolnlTy" 
, »i To Bive thank* 
It then p£ct in His i 



;i'i.;".s.p 



140 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book DL 



into my mind those true verses of Thy Am- 
brose, for Thou art — 

" Deus creator omnium, 
Polique rector, vesiiens 
Diem decora lumine, 
Noctem sopora gratia ; 

ArtuH soluto& ut <}uies 
Reddat laboris u»ui, 
Mentcsque fessas allevet, « 
lAictui>que solvat anxios."> 

33. And then little by little did I bring back 
my former thoughts of Thine handmaid, her 
devout conversation towards Thee, her holy 
tenderness and attentiveness towards us, which 
was suddenly taken away from me ; and it was 
pleasant to me to weep in Thy sight, for her 
and for me, concerning her and concerning 
myself. And I set free the tears which before 
I repressed, that they might flow at their will, 
spreading them beneath my heart ; and it rested 
in them, for Thy ears were nigh me, — i\pt those 
of man, who would have put a scornful inter- 
pretation on my weeping. But now in writing 
I confess it unto Thee, O Lord ! Read it who 
will, and interpret how he will ; and if he finds 
me to have sinned in weeping for my mother 
during so small a part of an hour, — that mother 
who was for a while dead to mine eyes, who 
had for many years wept for me, that I might 
live in Thine eyes, — let him not laugh at me, 
but rather, if he be a man of a noble charity, let 
him weep for my sins against Thee, the Father 
of all the brethren of Thy Christ. 

CHAP. XIII. HE ENTREATS (lOD FOR HER SINS, 

AND ADMONISHES HIS READERS TO REMEMBER 
HER PIOUSLY. 

34. But, — my heart being now healed of that 
wound, in so far as it could be convicted of a 
carnal* affection, — I pour out unto Thee, O our 
God, on behalf of that Thine handmaid, tears 
of a far different sort, even that which flows 
from a spirit broken by the thoughts of the dan- 
gers of every soul that dieth in Adam. And 
although she, having been *'made alive" in 
Christ^ even before she was freed from the flesh. 



> Rendered as follows in a translation of the first ten books of the 
Confessions, described on the titlc-paec as " Printed by J. C, for 
John Crook, and arc to be sold at uie sign of the 'Ship,' in St. 
Paul's Churchyard. 1660 " :— 

" O God, the world's great Architect, 
Who dost heaven's rowling orbs direct ; 
Cloathing the day with beauteous light. 
And with sweet slumbers silent night; 
When wearied limbs new vigour gain 
From rest, new labours to sustain ; 
When hearts oppressed do meet relief. 
And anxious minds forget their grief. 

See X. sec. 52, below, where this hymn is referred to. 

* Rom. viii. 7. 

> 1 Cor. XV. 22. The universalists of every age have interpreted 
the word "all" here so as to make salvation by Christ Je,sus 
extend to every child of Adam. If their interpretation were true, 
Monica's spirit need not have been troubled at the thought of the 
danger of unregenerate souls. But Augustin in his De Civ. Dei, 
xiii. 33, gives tne import of the word : " Not that all who die in 
Adam shall be members of Christ. — for the great majority shall be« 
punished in eternal death, — but be uses the word ' all ' in both 



had so lived as to praise Thy name both by her 
faith and conversation, yet dare I not say* that 
from the time Thou didst regenerate her by 
baptism, no word went forth from her mouth 
against Thy precepts.* And it hath been de- 
clared by Thy Son, the Truth, that "Whoso- 
ever shall say to his brother. Thou fool, shall 
be in danger of hell fire.*'* And woe even 
unto the praiseworthy life of man, if, putting 
away mercy. Thou shouldest investigate it. But 
because Thou dost not narrowly inquire after 
sins, we hope with confidence to find some 
place of indulgence with Thee. But whosoever 
recounts his true merits' to Thee, what is it 
that he recounts, to Thee but Thine own gifts? 
Oh, if men would know themselves to be men; 
and that ** he that glorieth*' would ** glory in 
the Lord!'** 

35. I then, O my Praise and my Life, Thou 
God of my heart, putting aside for a little her 
good deeds, for which I joyfully give thanks to 
Thee, do now beseech Thee for the sins of my 
mother. Hearken unto me, through that Med- 
icine of our wounds who hung upon the tree, 
and who, sitting at Thy right hand, "maketh 
intercession for us.*'* I know that she acted 
mercifully, and from the heart" forgave -her 
debtors their debts ; do Thou also forgive her 
debts," whatever she contracted during so many 

clauses because, as no one dies in an animal body except in Adam, 
JO no one is quickened a spiritual body save in Christ." See x. 
sec. 68, note 1, below. 

4 For to have done so would have been to go perilously near to 
the heresy of the Pelagians, who laid claim to the possibility ^ at- 
taining perfection in this life by the power of free-will, and withont 
the assistance of divine grace ; and went even so far, h« telk la 
{^I'.p. clxxvi. 2)^ as to sa^' tnat those who had so attained need not 
utter the petition for foqjiveness in the Lord's Prayer, — ut ei «#« 
sit jam necessarium dicer e " Dimitte nobis debita n^strm." 
Those in our own day who enunciate perfectionist theories, — 
though, it is true, not denying the grace of God as did thoMC, — may 
well ponder Augustin's forcible words in his De Pecc. Mer. et Rem, 
iii. 13 : " Optandum est ut fiat, conandum est ut fiat, supplicandum 
est ut fiat : non tamen quasi factum fucrit, confitendum.' We are 
indeed commanded to be perfect (Matt. v. ^8) ; and the philosophy 
underlying the command is embalmed in the words of the proverb, 
"Aim high, and you will strike high." But he who lives nearest 
to Ciod will have tne humility of heart which will make him ready 
to confess that in His sight he is a " miserable sinner." Some Inter- 
e.sting rcmarlcN on this siibject will be found in Augustin's Dt Chf. Dei, 
xiv. ^, on the tcxt^ " If we say we have no sin, ' etc. (x John i. 8.) 
On sms after baptism, see note on next section. 

6 Matt. xii. 36. 

• Matt. V. 22. 

7 There is a passage parallel to this in his Ep. to Sextus (cxciv. 
19). "Merits therefore would appear to be used simply in the 
sense of good actions. Compare sec. X7, above, xiii. sec. x, below, 
and Ep. cv. That righteousness is not by merit, appears from JEp. 
cxciv. : Ep. clxxvii., to Innocent; and Serm. ccxcni. 

• 2 Cor. X. 17. 

• Kom. viii. 34. 
1* Matt, xviii. 35. 

>i Matt. vi. 12. Augustin here as elsewhere applies this petition 
in the Ix>rd's Prayer to the forgiveness of sins aYter baptism. He 
does so constantly. For example, in his Ep. cclxv. he says : " We 
do not ask for those to be forgiven which we doubt not were for- 
given in baptism ; but those which, though small, are frequent, and 
spring from the frailty of human nature. ' Again, in his Com. Ep. 
I'armen. ii. 10, after iLsing almost the same words, he points out 
that it is a prayer against daify sins ; and in his De Crv. Dei^ xxi. 27, 
where he examines the passage in relation to various erroneous be- 
liefs, he says it " was a daily prayer He [Christ] was teaching, and 
it was certainly to disciples already justified He was speaking. 
What, then, does He mean by ' your sins* (Matt. vi. X4), out thoae 
sins from which not even you who are justified and sanctified c*n 
be /reef" See note on the previous section ; and also for the feel- 
ing in the early Church as to sins after baptism, the note on i. tec 
X7, above. ^ 



Chap. XIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



141 



years since the water of salvation. Forgive 
her, O Lord, forgive her, I beseech Thee; 
"enter not into judgment*' with her.* Let 
Thy mercy be exalted above Thy justice,' be- 
cause Thy words are true, and Thou hast pro- 
raised mercy unto "the merciful;"' which 
Thou gavest them to be who wilt " have mercy ' ' 
on whom Thou wilt "have mercy," and wilt 
** have compassion " on whom Thou hast had 
com{>assion.* 

36. And I believe Thou hast already done 
that which I ask Thee ; but " accept the free- 
will offerings of my mouth, O Lord."* For 
she, when the day of her dissolution was near 
at hand, took no thought to have her body 
sumptuously covered, or embalmed with spices; 
nor did she covet a choice monument, or desire 
her paternal burial-place. These things she 
entrusted not to us, but only desired to have 
her name remembered at Thy altar, which she 
had served without the omission of a single 
day ; • whence she knew that the holy sacrifice 
was dispensed, by which the handwriting that 
was against us is blotted out ; * by which the 
enemy was triumphed over,® who, summing up 
our offences, and searching for something to 
bring against us, found nothing in Him* in 
whom we conquer. Who will restore to Him 
the innocent blood ? Who will repay Him the 
price with which He bought us, so as to take us 
from Him? Unto the sacrament of which our 
ransom did Thy handmaid bind her soul by the 
bond of faith. Let none separate her from Thy 
protection. Let not the "lion" and the 
" dragon " " introduce himself by force or fraud. 
For she will not reply that she owes nothing, 
lest she be convicted and got the better of by 
the wily deceiver ; but she will answer that her 



Ps. cxliii. a. 
las. u. 13. 
Matt. V. 7. 

Rom. ix. 15. 

Ps. cxtx. 108. 

See V. sec. 17, above. 

Col. ii. 14. 
• See his De Trin. xiii. 18, the passage beginning. " What then 
the righteousness by which the dievil was conquer«l? " 
' John xiv. 30. 

Ps. xd. 13. 



" sins are forgiven " " by Him to whom no one 
is able to repay that price which He, owing 
nothing, laid down for us. 

37. May she therefore rest in peace with her 
husband, before or after whom she marri'id 
none ; whom she obeyed, with patience bringing 
forth fruit" unto Thee, that she might gain him 
also for Thee. And inspire, O my Lord my 
God, inspire Thy servants my brethren. Thy 
sons my masters, who with voice and heart and 
writings I serve, that so many of them as shall 
read these confessions may at Thy altar remem- 
ber Monica, Thy handmaid, together with 
Patricius, her sometime husband, by whose 
flesh Thou introducedst me into this life, in 
what manner I know not. May they with pious 
affection be mindflil of my parents in this trans- 
itory light, of my brethren that are under Thee 
our Father in our Catholic mother, and of my 
fellow-citizens in the eternal Jerusalem, which 
the wandering of Thy people sigheth for from 
their departure until their return. That so my 
mother's last entreaty to me may, through my 
confessions more than through my prayers, be 
more abundantly fulfilled to her through the 
prayers of many." 

" Matt. ix. 2. 

IS Luke viii. 15. 

^ The origin of prayers for the dead dates back probably to the 
close of the second century. In note i, p. 90, we have quoted 
from Tertullian's De Corona Militist where he says, ** Ob lot tones 
pro de/unctis pro natalitiis annua die /actmus." In his D* 
Afonogamia, he speaks of a widow praying for her departed hus- 
band, that " he might have rest, and be a partaker in the first re- 
surrection." From this time a catena of quotations from the 
Fathers might be given, if space permitted, showing how, beginning 
with early expressions of Mope for the dead, there, in process of 
time, arose prayers even for the unregcnerate, until at last there 
was developed purgatory on the one side, and creature-worship on 
the other. That Augustin did not entertain the idea of creature- 
worship will be seen from his Ep. to Maximus, xvii. 5. In his De 
Dulcit. Qiuest. 2 (where he discusses the whole question), he con- 
cludes that prayer must not be made for all, because all have not 
led the same life in the flesh. Still, in his Enarr. in Ps. cviii. 17, 
he argues from the case of the rich man in the parable, that the de- 
parted do certainly " have a care for us." Aerius, towards the close 
of the fourth century, objected to prayers for the dead, chiefly on 
the ground (see Usher's Answer to a Jesuit, iii. 358) of their use- 
lessness. In the Church of England, as will be seen by reference 
to Keeling's Liturgica Briianniae, pp. 210, 335, 339, and 3^1, 
prayers for the dead were eliminated from the second Prayer Book ; 
and to the prudence of this step Palmer bears testimony in his 
Ori^nes Liturgicae, iv. 10, Justifying it on the ground that^e re> 
tainmg of these prayers implied a belief in her holding the doctrine 
of purgatory. Reference may be made to Epiphanius, Adv. Heer. 
75; Bishop Bull, Sermon 3; and Bingham, xv. 3, sees. 15, x6, and 
xxiii. 3, sec. 13. 



BOOK X. 



HAVING MANIFESTED WHAT HE WAS AND WHAT HE IS. HE SHOWS THE GREAT FRUIT OF HIS COK- 
FESSION; AND BEING ABOUT TO EXAMINE BY WHAT METHOD GOD AND THE HAFFV UFE 1 
BE FOUND, HE ENLARGES ON THE NATURE AND POWER OF MEMORY. THEN HE EXAMINES HIS 
OWN ACTS, THOUGHTS AND AFFECTIONS, VIEWED UNDER THE THREEFOLD DIVISION OF TEMP- 
TATION; AND COMMEMORATES THE LORD. THE ONE MEDIATOR OF GOD AND HEN. 

For when I am wicked, to confess to Thee is 
naught but to be dissatisfied with myself; but 
when 1 am truly devout, it is naught but not to 
attribute it to myself, because Thou, O Lord, 
dosi "bless the righteous;'" but first Thou 
justifiest him "ungodly,"* My confession, 
therefore, O my God, in Thy sight, is made 
unto Thee silently, and yet not silently. For 
in noise it is silent, in aR'ection it cries aloud. 
For neither do I give utterance to anything 
that is right unto men which Thou hast not 
heard from me before, nor dost Thou hear any- 
thing of the kind from me which Thyself saicut 
not first unto me. 



I. Let me know Thee, O Thou who knowest 
me; let me know Thee, as I am known.' O 
Thou strength of my soul, enter into it, and 
prepare it for Thyself, that Thou mayest have 
and hold it without " spot or wrinkle."' This 
is ray hope, " therefore have I spoken ; " ' and 
in this hope do I rejoice, when I rejoice soberly. 
Other things of this life ought the less to be 
sorrowed for, the more they are sorrowed for ; 
and ought the more to be sorrowed for, the 
less men do sorrow for them. For behold, 
"Thou desirest truth,"* seeing that he who 
does it "comethto the light."' This wish I 
to do in confession in my heart before Thee, 
and in my writing before many witnesses. 



CHAP. II. — THAT ALL THINGS i 

COD. THAT CONFESSION UNTO HIM IS NOT 
MADE BY THE WORDS OF THE FLESH, BUT OF 
THE SOUL, AND THE CRY OF REFLECTION, 

2. And from Thee, O Lord, unto whose eyes 
the depths of man's conscience are naked,' what 
in me could be hidden though I were unwilling 
to confess to Thee? For so should I hide Thee 
from myself, not myself from Thee. Bui now, 
because my groaning witnesseth that I am dis- 
satisfied with myself. Thou shinest forth, and 
satisfiest, and art beloved and desired ; that I 
may blush for myself, and renounce myself, and 
choose Thee, and may neither please Thee nor 
myself, except in Thee, To Thee, then, O 
Lord, am I manifest, whatever I am, and with 
what fruit I may confess unto Thee I have 
sjjoken. Nor do I it with words and sounds 
of the flesh, but with the words of the soul, and 
that cry of reflection which Thine ear knoweth. 



CHAP. III. — HE WHO CONFESSETH RIGHTLY UNTO 

t;OD BEST KNOWETH HIMSELF. 

3. What then have I to do with men, that 
they should hear my confessions, as if they wete 
going to cure all my diseases?' A people curious 
to know the lives of others, but slow to correct 
their own. Why do they desire to hear from 
me what I am, who are unwilling to hear from 
Thee what they are ? And how can they tell, 
when they hear from me of myself, whether I 
speak the truth, seeing that no man knoweth 
what is in man, "save the spirit of man which 
is in him " ? " But if they hear from Thee aught 
concerning themselves, they will not be able to 
say, "The Lord lieth." For what is it to hear 
from Thee of themselves, but to know them- 
selves? And who is he that knoweth himself 
and saith, " II is false," unless he himself lieth? 
But because "charity believeth all things"" 
(amongst those aC all events whom by union 
with itself it maketh one), I too, O Ix)rd, also 
so confess unto Thee that men may hear, to 
whom I cannot prove whether I confess the 
truth, yet do they believe me whose ears charity 
ojjeneth unto me. 



saS- 



Chaf. v.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



143 



4. But yet do Thou, my most secret Physi- 
cian, make clear to me what fruit I may reap 
by doing it. For the confessions of my past 
sins, — which Thou hast *' forgiven '* and *' cov- 
ered," ^ that Thou mightest make me happy in 
Thee, changing my soul by faith and Thy sac- 
rament, — when they are read and heard, stir up 
the heart, that it sleep not in despair and say, 
** I cannot ;" but that it may awake in the love 
of Thy mercy and the sweetness of Thy grace, 
by which he that is weak is strong,' if by it he 
is made conscious of his own weakness. As for 
the good, they take delight in hearing of the 
|>ast errors of such as are now freed from them ; 
and they delight, not because they are errors, 
but because they have been and are so no 
longer. For what fruit, then, O Lord my God, 
to whom my conscience maketh her daily con- 
fession, more confident in the hope of Thy 
mercy than in her own innocency, — for what 
fruit, I beseech Thee, do I confess even to men 
in Thy presence by this book what I am at this 
time, not what I have been ? For that fruit I 
have ,both seen and spoken of, but what I am 
at this 'time, at the very moment of making my 
confessions, divers people desrre to know, both 
who knew me and who knew me not, — who 
have heard of or from me, — but their ear is not 
at my heart, where I am whatsoever I am. They 
are desirous, then, of hearing me confess what 
I am within, where they can neither stretch eye, 
nor ear, nor mind ; they desire it as those 
willing to believe, — but will they understand ? 
For charity, by which they are good, says unto 
them that I do not lie in my confessions, and 
she in them believes me. 

CHAP. IV. — THAT IN HIS CONFESSIONS HE MAY 
DO GOOD, HE CONSIDERS OTHERS. 

5. But for what fruit do they desire this ? Do 
they wish me happiness when they learn how 
near, by Thy gift, I come unto Thee ; and to 
pray for me, when they learn how much I am 
kept back by my own weight ? To such will I 
declare myself. For it is no small fruit, O Lord 
my God, that by many thanks should be given 
to Thee on our behalf,' and that by many Thou 
shouldest be entreated for us. Let the fraternal 
soul love that in me which Thou teachest should 
be loved, and lament that -in me which Thou 
teachest should be lamented. Let a fraternal 
and not an alien soul do this, nor that ** of 
strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, 
and their right hand is a right hand of false- 
hood,*'* but that fraternal one which, when it 
approves me, rejoices for me, but when it disap- 



I Ps. xxxii. z. 

* a Cor. xii. xo. 
•a Cor. i. 11. 

* Pt. cxliv. zi. 



proves me, is sorry for me ; because whether it 
approves or disapproves it loves me. To such 
will I declare myself; let them breathe freely at 
my good deeds, and sigh over my evil ones. My 
good deeds are Thy institutions and Thy gifts, 
my evil ones are my delinquencies and Thy 
judgments.* Let them breathe freely at the 
one, and sigh over the other ; and let hymns 
and tears ascend into Thy sight out of the fra- 
ternal hearts — ^Thy censers.* And do Thou, O 
Lord, who takest delight in the incense of Thy 
holy temple, have mercy upon me according to 
Thy great mercy ,^ ** for lliy name's sake ;" * and 
on no account leaving what Thou hast begun in 
me, do Thou complete what is imperfect in me. 

6. This is the fruit of my confessions, not of 
what I was, but of what I am, that I may con- 
fess this not before Thee only, in a secret exul- 
tation with trembling,* and a secret sorrow with 
hope, but in the ears also of the believing sons 
of men, — partakers of my joy, and sharers of 
my mortality, my fellow-citizens and the com- 
panions of my pilgrimage, those who are gone 
before, and those that are to follow after, and 
the comrades of my way. These are Thy 
servants, my brethren, those whom Thou wish- 
est to oe Thy sons ; my masters, whom Thou 
hast commanded me to serve, if I desire to live 
with and of Thee. But this Thy word were 
little to me did it command in speaking, without 
going before in acting. This then do I both in 
deed and word, this I do under Thy wings, in 
too great danger, were it not that my soul, under 
Thy wings, is subject unto Thee, and my weak- 
ness known unto Thee. I am a little one, but 
my Father liveth for ever, and my Defender is 
** sufficient ' ' *° for me. For He is the same who 
begat me and who defends me ; and Thou Thy- 
self art all my good ; even Thou, the Omnipo- 
tent, who art with me, and that before I am with 
Thee. To such, therefore, whom Thou com- 
mandest me to serve will I declare, not what I 
was, but what I now am, and what I still am. 
But neither do I judge myself." Thus then 
I would be heard. 

CHAP. v. — THAT MAN KNOWETH NOT HIMSELF 

WHOLLY. 

7. For it is Thou, Lord, that judgest me;" 
for although no *' man knoweth the things of a 

• In note 9, p. 79, we have seen how God makes man's sin its own 
punishment. Reference may also be made to Augustin's Con. Ad- 
vtrs. Leg. et Pro^h. i. 14, where he argues that " the pimishment 
of a man's disobedience is found in himself, when he in his turn 
cannot eet obedience even trom himself." And again, in his De 
Lib. Arb. V. 18, he says, God punishes by taking from him that 
which he does not use well, " et qui recte facere cum possit nohiit 
amittat posse cum velit." See also Serm. clxxi. 4, and Ep. cliii. 

• Rev viii. 3. 
T Ps. li. I. 

• Ps. XXV. n. 

•Ps. ii. II 

JO 2 Cor. xiL 9. 
Ji I Cor. iv. 3. 
W I Cor. iv. 4. 



144 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[BoocX 



man, save the spirit of man which is in him," ' 
yet is there something of man which " the spirit 
of man which is in him" itself knoweth not. 
But Thou, Lord, who hast made him, knowest 
him wholly. I indeed, though in Thy sight 1 
despise myself, and reckon "myself but dust 
and ashes,'" yet know something concerning 
Thee, which I know not concerning myself. 
And assuredly "now we see through a glasi 
darkly," not yet "face to face."* So long, 
therefore, as I be "absent" from Thee, I am 
more "present" with myself than with Thcc;' 
and yet know I that Thou canst not sufler vio- 
lence ;' but for myself I know not what tempta- 
tions I am able to resist, and what I am not 
able." But there is hope, because Thou art 
faithful, who wilt not suffer us to be templed 
above that we are able, but wilt with the temp- 
tation also make a way to escape, that we may 
be able to bear it.' 1 would therefore confess 
what I know concerning myself; I will confess 
also what 1 know not concerning myself. And 
because what I do know of myself, I know by 
Thee enlightening me j and what I know not of 
myself, so long I know not until the time when 
my "darkness be as the noonjiay"' in Thy 
sight. 

CHAP. VI. — THE LOVE OF GOD, IN HIS NATURE 
SUPERIOR TO ALL CREATURES, IS ACQUIRED BV 
THE KNOWLEDGE OK THE SENSES AND THE 
EXERCISE OF REASON. 

8. Not with uncertain, but with assured con- 
sciou-sness do I love Thee, O Lord. Thou hast 
stricken my heart with Thy word, and I loved 
Thee. And also the heaven, and earth, and 
that is therein, behold, on every side they i 
that I should love Thee ; nor do they cease 
speak unto all, "so that they are without i 
cuse." * But more profoundly wilt Thou have 
mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy, and 
compassion on whom Thou wilt have compas- 
sion," otherwise do both heaven and earth tell 
forth Thy praises to deaf ears. But what is it 
that I love in loving Thee? Not corporeal 
beauty, nor the splendour of time, nor the ra- 
diance of the light, so pleasant to our eyes, nor 
the sweet melodies of songs of all kinds, nor 
the fragrant smell of flowers, and ointments, 
and spices, not manna and honey, not limbs 



pleasant to the embracements of flesh. I love 
not these things when I love my God ; and yet 
I love a certain kind of light, and sound, and 
fragrance, and food, and embracement in lov- 
ing my God, who is the light, sound, fragrance, 
food, and embracement of my inner man — 
white that light shineth unto my soul which no J 
place can contain, where that soundeth which ^ 
time snatcheth not away, where there is a &a- A 
grance which no breeze disperseth, where there ; ' 
is a food which no eating can diminish, and/jF^ 
where that clingeth which no satiety can sunder. 
iThis is what I love, when I love my God. 
9. And what is this? I asked the earth; 
Ind it answered, "lam not He;" and what- 
soever are therein made the same confession. 
I asked the sea and the deeps, and the creeping 
things that lived, and they replied, "We art 
not thy God, seek higher than we." 1 asked 
the breezy air, and the universal air with its in- 
habitants answered," Anaximenes" was deceived, 
I am not God." I asked the heavens, the sun, 
moon. and stars: "Neither," say they, "are 
we the God whom thou seekest." And I an- 
sivercd unto all these things which stand about 
the door of my flesh, "Ye have told me con- 
cerning my God, that ye are not He; tell me 
something about Him." And with a toud voice 
they exclaimed, " He made us." My question- 
ing was my observing of them ; and their beauty 
was their reply." And I directed my. thoughts 
to myself, and said, " Who art thou ? " And I 
answered, "A man." And lo, in me there 
appear both body and soul, the one without, 
the other within. By which of these should 
I seek my God, whom I had sought through 
the body from earth to heaven, as far as 1 was 
able to send messengers — the beams of mine 
L-yes? But the better part is that which is inner ; 
for to it, as both president and judge, did all 
these my corporeal messengers render the an- 
swers of heaven and earth and all things therein, 
^vho said, " We^re-aoLGod, but HemaslEjjs." 
These things was my inne'r~inaH cogllizant of by 
tthe ministry of the outer; I, the inner man, 
a:new all this — I, the soul, through the senses of 
■ny body. 1 asked the vast bulk of the earth 
fcf my God, and it answered me, "I am not 
He, but He made me." 

\ 10. Is not this beauty visible to all whose 
senses are unimpaired? Why then doth it not 
sjieak the same things unto all? Animals, the 



■01 bcine vIolaUe. in vii. sec. 3, above, and Ihe noK IhctR 
UiH« be |H«cnl1ii''i'ht Mf. Snabo if rm. jMu!';*nd £j 



civiii. aj; and Aiiilolle, /'*vi. ifi. 4. Compire thij ihemr 
il lit Ivpkunii (p. 1D0, above) with thoe ttl modem phyit- 
indKelhereon Thi Uitm f/snimr.uu. gj.elcudii;, 



and iCil of Epk'u'i 



upon id beauty — lf4t zMfmi$itu 



Chap. VIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



145 



who made me. And I enter the fields and ill 
roomy chambers of memory, where are the VJ 
treasures of countless images, imported into it . 1 
from all manner of things by the senses. There f 
is treasured up whatsoever likewise we think, 
either by enlarging or diminishing, or by vary- 
ing in any way whatever those things which the 
sense hath arrived at ; yea, and whatever else 
hath been entrusted to it and stored up, which 
oblivion hath not yet engulfed and buried. 
When I am in this storehouse, I demand that 
what I wish should be brought forth, and some 
things immediately appear; others require to 
be longer sought after, and are dragged, as it 
were, out of some hidden receptacle ; others, 
again, hurry forth in crowds, and while another 
thing is sought and inquired for, they leap into 
view, as if to say, ** Is it not we, perchance? *' 
These I drive away with the hand of my heart 
from before the face of my remembrance, until 
what I wish be discovered making its appear- 
ance out of its secret cell. Other things sug- 
gest themselves without effort, and in continuous 
order, just as they are called for, — those in front 
giving place to those that follow, and in giving 
place are treasured up again to be forthcoming 
when I wish it. All of which takes place when 
I repeat a thing from memory. 

13. All these things, each of which entered 
by its own avenue, are distinctly and under 
general heads there laid up : as, for example, 
light, and all colours and forms of bodies, by 
the eyes ; sounds of all kinds by the ears ; all 
smells by the passage of the nostrils ; all flavours 
by that of the mouth ; and by the sensation of 
the whole body is brought in what is hard or 
soft, hot or cold, smooth or rough, heavy or 
light, whether external or internal to the body. 
All these doth that great receptacle of memory, 
with its many and indescribable departments, 
receive, to be recalled and brought forth when 
required ; each, entering by its own door, is laid 
up in it. And yet the things themselves do not 
enter it, but only the images of the things per- 
ceived are there ready at hand for thought to 
recall. And who can tell how these images are 
formed, notwithstanding that it is evident by 
which of the senses each has been fetched in 
and treasured up? For even while I live in 
darkness and silence, I can bring out colours in 
memory if I wish, and discern between black 
and white, and what others I wish ; nor yet do 
sounds break in and disturb what is drawn in by 
mine eyes, and which I am considering, seeing 
that they also are there, and are concealed, — • 
laid up, as it were, apart. For these too I can 
summon if I please, and immediately they ap- 
pear. And though my tongue be at rest, and 
my throat silent, yet can I sing as much as I 
will ; and those images of colours, which not- 



very small and the great, see it, but they are un- 
able to question it, because their senses are not 
endowed with reason to enable them to judge on 
* what they report. But men can question it, so 
that " the invisible things of Him . . . are 
clearly seen, being understood by the things 
that are made ; ' * ^ but by loving them, they are 
brought into subjection to them ; and subjects 
are not able to judge. Neither do the creatures 
reply to such as question them, unless they can 
judge ; nor will they alter their voice (that is, 
their beauty),' if so be one man only sees, an- 
other both sees and questions, so as to appear 
one way to this man, and another to that ; but 
appearing the same way to both, it is mute to 
this, it speaks to that — yea, verily, it speaks 
unto all ; but they only understand it who com- 
pare that voice received from without with the 
truth within. For the truth declareth unto me, 
** Neither heaven, nor earth, nor any body is 
thy God.** This, their nature declareth unto 
him that beholdeth them. ** They are a mass ; 
a mass is less in part than in the whole.** Now, 
O my soul, thou art my better part, unto thee I 
speak ; for thou animatest the mass of thy body, 
giving it life, which no body furnishes to a body ; 
but thy God is even unto thee the Life of life. 

CHAP. VII. — ^THAT GOD IS TO BE FOUND NEITHER 
FROM THE POWERS OF THE BODY NOR OF THE 
SOUL. 

11. What then is it that I love when I love 
my God ? Who is He that is above the head 
of my soul ? By my soul itself will I mount 
up unto Him. I will soar beyond that power of 
mine whereby I cling to the body, and fill the 
whole structure of it with life. Not by that 
power do I find my God ; for then the horse 
and the mule, "which have no understanding,** ' 
might find Him, since it is the same power by 
which their bodies also live. But there is an- 
other power, not that only by which I quicken, 
but that also by which I endow with sense my 
flesh, which the Lord hath made for me ; bid- 
ding the eye not to hear, and the ear not to see ; 
but that, for me to see by, and this, for me to 
hear by ; and to each of the other senses its own 
proper seat and office, which being different, I,, 
the single mind, do through them govern, 
will soar also beyond this power of mine ; fo; 
this the horse and mule possess, for they to* 
discern through the body. 

CHAP. VIII. — OF THE NATURE AND THE AMAZING 

POWER OF MEMORY. 

12. I will soar, then, beyond this power of 
imy nature also, ascending by degrees unto Him 

1 Rom. i. 90. 

s See note a to previous section. 

* Ps. xxxii. 9. 



146 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



withstanding are there, do not interpose them- 
selves and interrupt when another treasure ii; 
under consideration which flowed in through 
the ears. So the remaining things carried in 
and heaped up by the other senses, I recall at 
my pleasure. And I discern the scent of lilies 
from thatof violets while smelling nothing ; and 
I prefer honey to grape-syrup, a smooth thing 
to a rough, though then I neither taste nor han- 
dle, but only remember. 

14. These things do I within, in that vast 
chamber of my memory. For there are nigh 
me heaven, earth, sea, and whatever I can think 
upon in them, besides those which I have for- 
gotten; There also do I meet with myself, and 
recall myself, — what, when, or where I did a 
thing, and how I was affected when I did it. 
There are all which I remember, either by per- 
sonal experience or on the faith of others. Out 
of the same supply do I myself with the past 
construct now this, now that likeness of things, 
which either I have experienced, or, from hav- 
ing experienced, have beheved ; and thence 
again future actions, events, and hopes, and 
upon all these again do I meditate as if they 
were present. " I will do this or that," say I 
to myself in that vast womb of my mind, filled 
with the images of things so many and so great, 
"and this or that shall follow upon it." "Oh 1 
that this or that might come to pass ! " " God , 
avert this or that ! " Thus speak I to myself; 
and when I speak, the images of all I speak | 
about are present, out of the same treasury of | 
memory ; nor could I say anything at alt about | 
them were the images absent. , 

15. Great is this power of memory, exceed- ' 
ing great, O my God, — an inner chamber large j 
and boundless ! Who has plumbed the depths | 
thereof? Yet it is a power of mine, and apper- , 
tains unto my nature ; nor do I myself grasp 
all that I am. TJierefore is the mind too nar- ' 

, rowJ]j-e©ai^ itselT" "^And where should that ! 
Es'wllcfr-itj^oth not corrtain of itself? Is it 
outside and not in itself? How is it, then, that 
, it doth not grasp itself? A great admiration I 
rises upon me; astonishment seizes me. And 
men go forth to wonder at the heights of moun- ' 
tains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow 
of the rivers, the extent of the ocean, and the 
courses of the stars, and omit to wonder at ' 
themselves ; nor do they marvel that when I 
spoke of all these things, I was not looking on 1 
them with my eyes, and yet could not si>eak of 
them unless those mountains, and waves, and 
rivers, and stars which I saw, and that ocean 
which I believe in, I saw inwardly in my mem- 
ory, and with the same vast spaces between as 
when I saw them abroad. But I did not by 
seeing appropriate them when I looked on them 
with my eyes; nor are the things themselves with 



me, but their images. And I knew by what 
corporeal sense each made impression on me. 

CHAP. IX. — NOT ONLY THINGS, BUT ALSO LITERA- 
TURE AND IMAGES, ARE TAKEN FROM THE 
MEMORY, AND ARE BROUGHT FORTH BY THE 
ACT OF REMEMBERING. 

16. And yet are not these all that the illimit- 
able capacity of my memory retains. Here 
also b all that is apprehended of the liberal sci- 
icnces, and not yet forgotten — removed as it 
were into an inner place, which is not a place; 
nor are they the images which are retained, but 
the things themselves. For what is literature, 
what skill in disputation, whatsoever I know of 
all the many kinds of questions there are, is so 
in my memory, as that I have not taken in 
the image and left the thing without, or that it 
should have sounded and passed away like a 
voice imprinted on the ear by that trace, where- 
by it might be recorded, as though it sounded 
when it no longer did so ; or as an odour while 
it passes away, and vanishes into wind, aifects 
the sense of smell, whence it conveys the image 
of itself into the memory, which we realize in 
recollecting ; or like food, which assuredly in 
the belly hath now no taste, and yet hath a 
kind of taste in the memory, or like anything 
that is by touching felt by the body, and which 
even when removed from us is imagined by the 
memory. For these things themselves are not 
put into it, but the images of them only are 
caught up, with a marvellous quickness, and 
laid up, as it were, in most wonderful gameni, 
and wonderfully brought forth when we retnem- 



LHAP. X. — LITERATURE IS ^ 

THE MEMORY THROUGH THE SENSES, BUT IS 
BROUGHT FORTH FROM ITS MORE SECRET 

PLACES. 

1 7. But truly when I hear that there are three 
kinds of questions, "Whether a thing is? — 
what it is? — of what kind it is?" I do indeed 
hold fa-st the images of the sounds of which 
these words are composed, and I know that 
those sounds [lassed through theairwithanoise, 1 
md now are not. But the things themselves j 
which are signified by these sounds I never 
arrived at by any sense of the body, nor ever 
perceived them otherwise Chan by my mind; 
and in my memory have I laid up not their 
images, but themselves, which, how they en- 
tered into me, let them tell if they are able.! 
For I examine all the gates of my flesh, but! 
find not by which of them they entered. For 
the eyes say, " If they were coloured, we an-j 
nounced them." The ears say, "If they 
sounded, we gave notice of them." The nos- 



Chu>. XIV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



triUsay, "If they smell, they passed in by us." 
The sense of taste says, "If they have no I 
flavour, ask not me," The touch says, "If it I 
have not body, I handled it not, and if I never ' 
handled it, I gave no notice of it." Whence | 
and how did these things enter into my mem- 
ory? I know not how. For when I learned 
them, I gave not credit to the heart of another 
man, but perceived them in my own ; and I 
approved them as true, and committed them to 
it, laying them up, as it were, whence I might 
fetch them when I willed. There, then, they 
were, even before 1 learned them, but were 
not in my memory. Where were they, then, 
or wherefore, when they were spoken, did I 
acknowledge them, and say, "So it is, it is 
true," unless as being already in the memory, 
though so put back and concealed, as it were, 
in more secret caverns, that had they not been 
drawn forth by the advice of another I would 
not, perchance, have been able to conceive of 
them? 

CHAP. XI. — WHAT IT IS TO LEAKN AND TO THINK. 

1 8. Wherefore we find that to learn these 
things, whose images we drink not in by our 

I senses, but perceive within as they are by them- 
: selves, without images, is nothing else but by 
'; meditation as it were to concentrate, and by; 
observing to take care that those notions which' 
■■ the memory did before contain scattered and 
confused, be laid up at hand, as it were, in that 
same memory, where before they lay concealed, 
scattered and neglected, and so the more easily 
) present themselves to the mind well accustomed 
. to observe them. And how many things of this 
^^rt does my memory retain which have been 
found out already, and, as I said, are, as it 
were, laid up ready to hand, which we are said 
to have learned and to have known ; which, 
should we for small intervals of time cease to 
! recall, they are again so submerged and slide 
I back, as it were, into the more remote cham- 
I bers, that they must be evolved thence again as 
, if new (for other sphere they have none), and 
\ must be marshalled [cogeruia\ again that they 
I may become known ; that is to say, they must 
[ be collected [colligenJa], as it were, from their 
! dispersion ; wnence we have the word eogitare. 
¥ox coga \j e0lUcf\ and cogito \I re'ColUci\ have 
the same relation to each other as ago and agito, 
facio and factito. But the mind has appropri- 
ated to itself this word [cogitation], so (hat not 
that which is collected anywhere, but what is 
collected,' that is marshalled,' in the mind, is 
properly said to be "cogitated."' 



19. The memory containeth also the reason^ 
and innumerable laws of numbers and dimen-^ 

sions, none of which hath any sense of thA 
body impressed, seeing they have neither colour^ 
nor sound, nor taste, nor smell, nor sense of 
touch. I have heard the sound of the words 
by which these things are signified when they 
are discussed; but the sounds are one thing, 
the things another. For the sounds are one 
thing in Greek, another in Latin ; but the 
things themselves are neither Greek, nor Latin, 
nor any other language. I have seen the lines 
of the craftsmen, even the finest, like a spider's 
web ; but these are of another kind, they are 
not the images of those which the eye of my 
flesh showed me ; he knoweth them who, with- 
out any idea whatsoever of a body, perceives 
them within himself. I have also observed the 
numbers of the things with which we number 
all the senses of the body ; but those by which 
we number are of another kind, nor are they 
the images of these, and therefore they cer- 
tainly are. Let him who sees not these things 
mock me for saying them ; and I will pity him, 
whibt he mocks me. 



CHAP, xm.- 



U.L THING S. 



20. All these things I retain in my memory, 
and how I learnt them I retain. I retain also 
many things which I have heard most falsely 
objected against them, which though they be 
false, yet is it not false that I have remembered 
them ; and I remember, too, that I have 
distinguished between those truths and these 
falsehoods uttered against them ; and I now see 
that it is one thing to distinguish these things, 
another to remember that I often distinguished 
them, when I often reflected upon them. I 
both remember, then, that I have often under- 
stood these things, and what I now distinguish 
and comprehend 1 store away in my memory, 
that hereafter I may remember that I understood 
it now. Therefore also I remember that I have 
remembered ; so that if afterw'ards I shall call 
to mind that I have been able to remember these 
things, it will be through the power of memory 
that I shall call it to mind. 

CHAP. XIV. — CONCERNING THE MANNER IN WHICH 
JOY AND SADNESS MAY BE BROUCHT BACK TO 
THE MIND AND MEMORY. 

31. This same meinory contains, alsgihe auc- 
tions of my niin^;.aotu)l&iiiamieiia.]diidi 
the mind itseTf contains them when it suf^ 
them, but very differently accordmg to a20w^ 
peculiar to memory. For withoilt being joyous, 
1 1 Kmember myself to have had joy ; and with- 



1 48 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Book X. 

out being sad, I call to mind my past sadness ; chap. xv. — in memory there are also images 
and that of which I was once afraid, I remember of things which are absent. 

without fear; and without desire recall a former g^^ ^^^^^^^ ^ -^ ^^ ^^^ ^ 

desire. Agam, on the contrary I at times re- ^ell affirm? For I name a stone, I name the 
member when joyous my past sadness, and when ^^ ^^^ ^^^ themselves are not present 

sad my joy Which is not to be wondered at ^^ ^ but their images are near to my 

as regards the body ; for the naind is one thing, memory. I name some pain of the body, yet 
the body another. If I, therefore, when happy, -^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^hen there is no pain ; yet if 

rec^l some past bodily pam, it is not so strange j^^ i^nage were not in my memory, I should be 
a thing But now, as this very memory itself is ^^^.^^ ^^^at to say concerning it, nor in ar- 
mmd (for when we give orders to have a thing ^^^ ^ ^^^^ ^^ distinguish it from pleasure, 
kept m memory, we say, -bee that you bear f ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^,jf^^ ^^^^^ .^ ^ ^j^^ 
this in mind ; and when we forget a thing we ^^- -^^^^ -J i„^^^^ ^ ^.^^^ ^^^ ^^. 

say, - It did not ^nter niy mind, and. It ^^ ^^^3 • ^^^^ ^^^^/j^ memory, I could 

slipped from my mind, thus calling the mem- ^y no means call to mind what the sound of this 
cry Itself mind), as this is so, how comes it to ^-^^^ signified. Nor would sick people know, 
pass that when being joyful I remember my past ^.^en health was named, what waTsaid, unless 
sorrow, the mmd has joy, the memory sorrow, ^^^ ^^^^ j ^.^,^ ^^^^^^^^ ^ ^^e power of 

—the mind, from the joy than is in it, is joyful, memory, although the thing itself were absent 
yet the memory, from the sadness that is m it, ^^^^ ^{^^ ^^^ ^ I ^^^^^ ^^^^^ thereby we 
is not sad? Does not the memory perchance enumerate; and not their images, but they 
belong unto the mind? Who will say so ? 1 he themselves are in my memory I name the 
meniory doubtless is, so to say, the belly of the • ^^ ^^e sun, and this, too, is in my mem- 

mmd, and joy and sadness like sweet and bitter ^ ^ ^^^ j ^^ ^^^ recall the image of that im- 
food, which, when entn^ted to the memory, are, ^^ ^^^ j^^^l^ ^^^ ^y^^ ^ ^^3^1^^^ ^^^^ 

as it were, passed into the belly, where they can ^^^ j remember it. I name memoryf and I 
be reposited but cannot taste. It is ridiculous ^^^^ ^.^^^ j ^^^^ B^t ^.^ere do I know it, 
to imagine these to be alike ; and yet they are ^^^^p^ -^^ ^^e memory itself? Is it also present 

not utterly unlike. ^ ^ to itself by its image, and not by itself? 

22. But behold, out of my memory I educe "^ ° 

it, when I affirm that there be four perturbations 

of the mind, — desire, joy, fear, sorrow; and 

whatsoever I shall be able to dispute on these, 

by dividing each into its peculiar species, and 24. When I name forget fulness, and know, 

by defining it, there I find what I may say, and too, what I name, whence should I know it 

thence I educe it ; yet am I not disturbed by if I did not remember it ? I do not say the 

any of these perturbations when by remember- sound of the name, but the thing which it sig- 

ing them I call them to mind; and before I nifies; which, had I forgotten, I could not know 

recollected and reviewed them, they were there ; what that sound signified. When, therefore, I 

wherefore byremembrancecould they be brought remember memory, then is memory present 

thence. Perchance, then, even as meat is in with itself, through itself. But when I remem- 

ruminating brought up out of the belly, so by ber forgetftilness, there are present both memory 

calling to mind are these educed from the mem- and forgetfulness, — memory, whereby I remem- 

ory. Why, then, does not the disputant, thus ber, forgetfulness, which I remember. But what 

recollecting, perceive in the mouth of his medi- is forgetfulness but the privation of memory ? 

tation the sweetness of joy or the bitterness of How, then, is that present for me to remember, 

sorrow ? Is the comparison unlike in this be- since, when it is so, I cannot remember ? But 

cause not like in all points? For who would if what we remember we retain in memory, yet, 

willingly discourse on these subjects, if, as often unless we remembered forgetfulness, we could 

as we name sorrow or fear, we should be com- never at the hearing of the name know the thing 

pelled to be sorrowful or fearful ? And yet we meant by it, then is forgetfulness retained by 

could never speak of them, did we not find in memory. Present, therefore, it is, lest we 

our memory not merely the sounds of the names should forget it ; and being so, we do forget. 

according to the images imprinted on it by the Is it to be inferred from this that forgetfulness, 

senses of the body, but the notions of the things wh^n we remember it, is not present to the 

themselves, which we never received by any door memory through itself, but through its image ; 

of the flesh, but which the mind itself, recognising because, were forgetfulness present through it- 

by the experience of its own passions, entrusted self, it would not lead us to remember, but to 

to the memory, or else which the memory itself forget ? Who will now investigate this ? Who 

retained without their being entrusted to it. shall understand how it is ? 



CHAP. XVI. — ^THE privation OF MEMORY IS FOR- 
GETFULNESS. 



CHAP. XVIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



149 



25. Truly, O Lord, I labour therein, and 
labour in myself. I am become a troublesome 
soil that requires overmuch labour. For we are 
not now searching out the tracts of heaven, or 
measuring the distances of the stars, or inquir- 
ing about the weight of the earth. It is I my- 
self — I, the mind — who remember. It is not 
much to be wondered at, if what I myself am 
not be fer from me. But what is nearer to me 
than myself? And, behold, I am not able to 
comprehend the force of my own memory, 
though I cannot name myself without it. For 
what shall I say when it is plain to me that I 
remember forgetflilness ? Shall I affirm that 
that which I remember is not in my memory ? 
Or shall I say that forgetfulness is in my mem- 
ory with the view of my not forgetting? Both 
of these are most absurd. What third view is 
there ? How can I assert that the image of for- 
getfulness is retained by my memory, and not 
forgetfulness itself, when I remember it ? And 
how can I assert this, seeing that when the image 
of anything is imprinted on the memory, the 
thing itself must of necessity be present first by 
which that image may be imprinted ? For thus 
do I remember Carthage ; thus, all the places to 
which I have been ; thus, the faces of men whom 
I have seen, and things reported by the other 
senses ; thus, the health or sickness of the body. 
For when these objects were present, my mem- 
ory received images from them, which, when 
they were present, I might gaze on and recon- 
sider in my mind, as I remembered them when 
they were absent. If, therefore, forgetfulness is 
retained in the memory through its image, and 
not through itself, then itself was once present, 
that its image might be taken. But when it was 
present, how did it write its image on the mem- 
ory, seeing that forgetfulness by its presence 
blots out even what it finds already noted ? 
And yet, in whatever way, though it be incom- 
prehensible and inexplicable, yet most certain I 
am that I remember also forgetfulness itself, 
whereby what we do remember is blotted out. 

CHAP. XVII. ^-GOD CANNOT BE ATTAINED UNTO 
BY THE POWER OF MEMORY, WHICH BEASTS AND 
BIRDS POSSESS. 

26. Great is the power of memory; very 
wonderful is it, O my God, a profound and in- 
finite manifoldness ; and this thing is the mind, 
and this I myself am. What then am I, O my 
God ? Of what nature am I ? A life various 
and manifold, and exceeding vast. Behold, in 
the numberless fields, and caves, and caverns 
of my memory, full without number of num- 
berless kinds of things, either through images, as 
all bodies are ; or by the presence of the things 
themselves, as are the arts; or by some notion 



or observation, as the affections of the mind 
are, which, even though the mind doth not 
suffer, the memory retains, while whatsoever is 
in the memory is also in the mind : through all 
these do I run to and fro, and fly; I pene- 
trate on this side and that, as far as I am able, 
and nowhere is there an end. So great is the 
power of memory, so great the power of life in 
man, whose life is mortal. What then shall I 
do, O Thou my true life, my God ? I will pass 
even beyond this power of mine which is called 
memory — I will pass beyond it, that I may 
proceed to Thee, O Thou sweet Light. What 
sayest Thou to me ? Behold, I am soaring by 
my mind towards Thee who remainest above 
me. I will also pass beyond this power of 
mine which is called memory, wishful to reach 
Thee whence Thou canst be reached, and to 
cleave unto Thee whence it is possible to cleave 
unto Thee. For even beasts and birds possess 
memory, else could they never find their lairs 
and nests again, nor many other things to 
which they are used ; neither indeed could they 
become used to anything, but by their mem- 
ory. I will pass, then, beyond memory also, 
that I may reach Him who has separated me 
from the four-footed beasts and the fowls of 
the air, making me wiser than they. I will 
pass beyond memory also, but where shall I 
find Thee, O Thou truly good and assured 
sweetness ? But where shall I find Thee ? If 
I find Thee without memory, then am I un- 
mindful of Thee. And how now shall I find 
Thee, if I do not remember Thee ? 

CHAP. XVI II. — A THING WHEN LOST COULD NOT 
BE FOUND UNLESS IT WERE RETAINED IN THE 
MEMORY. 

27. For the woman who lost her drachma, 
and searched for it with a lamp,' unless she had 
remembered it, would never have found it. For 
when it was found, whence could she know 
whether it were the same, had she not remembered 
it ? I remember to have lost and found many 
things ; and this I know thereby, that when I was 
searching for any of them, and was asked, ** Is 
this it?*' **Is that it?'* I answered ''No," 
until such time as that which I sought were 
offered to me. Which had I not remembered, 
— whatever it were, — though it were offered me, 
yet would I not find it, because I could not re- 
cognise it. And thus it is always, when we 
search for and find anything that is lost. Not- 
withstanding, if anything be by accident lost 
from the sight, not from the memory, — as any 
visible body, — the image of it is retained with- 
in, and is searched for until it be restored to 
sight ; and when it is found, it is recognised by 

1 Luke XV. 8. 



ISO 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book X. 



the image which is within. Nor do we say that 
we have found what we had lost unless we re- 
cognise it ; nor can we recognise it unless we 
remember it. But this, though lost to the sight, 
was retained in the memory. 

CHAP. XIX. — WHAT IT IS TO REMEMBER. 

28. But how is it when the memory itself 
loses anything, as it happens when we forget 
anything and try to recall it ? Where finally 
do we search, but in the memory itself? And 
there, if perchance one thing be offered for 
another, we refuse it, until we meet with what 
we seek ; and when we do, we exclaim, " This is 
it ! " which we should not do unless we knew it 
again, nor should we recognise it unless we re- 
membered it. Assuredly, therefore, we had 
forgotten it. Or, had not the whole of it 
slipped our memory, but by the part by which 
we had hold was the other part sought for ; 
since the memory perceived that it did not re- 
volve together as much as it was accustomed to 
do, and halting, as if from the mutilation of its 
old habit, demanded the restoration of that 
which was wanting. For example, if we see or 
think of some man known to us, and, having 
forgotten his name, endeavour to recover it, 
whatsoever other thing presents itself is not 
connected with it ; because it was not used to 
be thought of in connection with him, and is 
consequently rejected, until that is present 
whereon the knowledge reposes fittingly as its 
accustomed object. And whence, save from 
the memory itself, does that present itself? 
For even when we recognise it as put in mind 
of it by another, it is thence it comes. For we 
do not believe it as something new, but, as we 
recall it, admit what was said to be correct. 
But if it were entirely blotted out of the mind, 
we should not, even when put in mind of it, 
recoUect it. For we have not as yet entirely 
forgotten what we remember that we have for- 
gotten. A lost notion, then, which we have 
entirely forgotten, we cannot even search for. 

CHAP. XX. — WE SHOULD NOT SEEK FOR GOD AND 
THE HAPPY LIFE UNLESS WE HAD KNOWN IT. 

29. How, then, do I seek Thee, O Lord? 
For when 1 seek Thee, my God, I seek a happy 
life.* I will seek Thee, that my soul may live.* 
For my body liveth by my soul, and my soul liv- 
eth by Thee. How, then, do I seek a hai)py Hfe, 
seeing that it is not mine till I can say, " It is 
enough ! * ' in that place where I ought to say 
it ? How do I seek it ? Is it by remembrance, 
as though I had forgotten it, knowing too that 
I had forgotten it ? or, longing to learn it as a 

1 See note, p. 75, above. 
* Amos V. 4. 



thing unknown, which either I had never \ 
known, or had so forgotten it as not even to re- 
member that I had forgotten it? Is not a 
happy life the thing that all desire, and is there 
any one who altogether desires it not? But 
where did they acquire the knowledge of it, . 
that they so desire it ? Where have they seen / 
it, that they so love it ? Truly we have it, but 
how I know not. Yea, there is another way in 
which, when any one hath it, he is happy ; and 
some there be that are happy in hope. These 
have it in an inferior kind to those that are 
happy in fact ; and yet are they better off than 
they who are happy neither in fact nor in hope. 
And even these, had they it not in some way, 
would not so much desire to be happy, which 
that they do desire is most certain. How they 
come to know it, I cannot tell, but they have 
it by some kind of knowledge unknown to 
me, who am in much doubt as to whether it be 
in the memory ; for if it be there, then have 
we been happy once ; whether all individually, 
or as in that man who first sinned, in whom 
also we all died,* and from whom we are all bom 
with misery, I Hn ri^^ now ask ]_ but T agk 
whether the happy life l)e^n the iriprn nry^2-_Fn| ;__ 

cUiLwe JiQtjcnowlt,~ we should not love it ^We 

JieaX-th^lUUne* lihd jye. alljarknnwTpftgp jfiat wp 

desire the-thii^ ; for we are'hqt deliejitejLjvith 

the sound only. For when a Greek hears it 
spoken in Latin, he does not feel delighted, for 
he knows not what is spoken ; but we are de- 
lighted,* as he too would be if he heard it in 
Greek ; because the thing itself is neither Greek 
nor Latin, which Greeks and Latins, and men 
of all other tongues, long so earnestly to obtain. 
It is then known unto all, and could they with 
one voice be asked whether they wished to be 
happy, without doubt they would all answer that 
they would. 4pd t his r-r>nlH j^j^t h^ i^i^Ucc the 

thing itself, of whicTTlC is the name,^ wiSje re- 
tained in their memorv. 



CHAP. XXL — HOW A HAPPY LIFE MAY BE RE- 
TAINED IN THE MEMORY. 

30. But is it SO as one who has seen Carthage 
remembers it? No. For a happy life is not 
visible to the eye, because it is not a body. Is 
it, then, as we remember numbers? No. ' For 
he that hath these in his knowledge strives not 
to attain fiirther ; but a happy life we have in 
our knowledge, and, therefore, do we love it, 
while yet we wish further to attain it that we 
may be happy. Is it, then, as we remember 
eloquence? No. For although some, when 
they hear this name, call the thing to mind, 
who, indeed, are not yet eloquent, and many 

s I Cor. XV. 22 ; see p. 140, note 3, and note p. 73, above, 
^ That'b, as knovring Latin. 



i 



Chap. XXIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



J51 



who wish to be so, whence it appears to be in 
theit knowledge ; yet have these by their bod- 
ily perceptions noticed that others are eloquent, 
and tjeen delighted with it, and long to be so, 
— although they would not be delighted save 
for some interior knowledge, nor desire to be so 
unless they were delighted. — but a happy life 
we can by no bodily perception make experi- 
ence of in others. Is it, then, as we remember 
joy ? It may be so ; for my joy I remember, 
even when sad, like as I do a happy life when I 
am miserable. Nor did I ever with perception 
of the body either see, hear, smell, taste, or 
touch my joy ; but I experienced it in my mind 
when I rejoiced ; and the knowledge of it clung 
to ray memory, .so that I can call it to mind, 
sometimes with disdain and at others with de- 
sire, according to the difference of the things 
wherein I now rememher that I rejoiced. For 
even from unclean things have I been bathed 
with a certain joy, which now calling to mind, 
I detest and execrate j at other times, from 
good and honest things, which, with longing, 
I call to mind, thOngh perchance they be not 
nigh at hand, and then with sadness do I call 
to mind a former joy. 
I 31. Where and when, then, did I experience 
I my happy life, that I should call it to mind, 
I and love and long for it ? Nor is jt I alone or 
I a few others who wish to be happy, but truly 
I all ; which, unless by certain knowledge we 
I knew, we should not wish with so certain a will. 
But how is this, that if two men be asked 
whether they would wish to serve as soldiers, 
one, it may be, would' reply that he would, the 
other that he would not ; but if they were asked 
Tvhether they would wish to be happy, both of 
fhem would unhesitatingly say that they would ; 
And this one would wish to serve, and the other 
tiot, from no other motive but to be happy 7 Is 
It, perchance, that as one joys in this, and an- 
pther in that, so do all men agree In their wish 
(for happiness, as they would agree, were they 
psked, in wishing to have joy, — at^d this joy 
jthey call a happy life? Although, then, one 
■ pursues joy in this way, and another in that, all 
I have one goal, which they strive to attain, 
I namely, to have joy. This life, being a thing 
' which no one can say he has not experienced, 
it is on that account found in the memory, and 
recognised whenever the name of a happy life 
is heard. 



32. Let it be far, O Lord, — let it be far from 
the heart of Thy servant who confesseth nnto 
Thee ; let it be far from me to think myself 
happy, be the joy what it may. For there is a 



joy which is not granted to the " wicked, " ' 
but to those who worship Thee thankfully, 
whose joy Thou Thyself art. And the happy I 
life is this,— to rejoice unto Thee, in Thee, and 
for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.' 
But those who think there is another follow I 
after another joy, and that not the true one. I 
Their will, hflwever, is not turned away fromlj 
some shadow of joy. 



33. It is not, then, certain that all men wish 
to be happy, since those who wish not to rejoice 
in Thee, which is the only happy life, do not 
verily desire the happy life. Or do all desire 
this, but because "the flesh luateih against the 
spirit, and the spirit against the flesh," so that 
they "cannot do the things that they would,"* 
they fell upon that which they are able to do, 
and with that are content ; because that which 
they are not able to do, they do not so will as 
to make them able ?' For I ask of every man, 
whether he would rather rejoice in truth or in 
falsehood. They will no more hesitate to say, 1 
"in truth," than to say, " that they wish to be 
happy." For a happy life is joy in the truth. 
For this is joy in Thee, who art " the truth,"* 
O God, "my light,"* "the health of my coun- 
tenance, and my God."' All wish for this 
happy life ; this life do all wish for, which is 
the only happy one; joy in the truth do all 
wish for.' I have had experience of many 
who wished to deceive, but not one who wished 
to be deceived. Where, then, did they know 
this happy life, save where they knew also the 
truth? For they love it, too, since they would 
not be deceived. And when they love a happy 
life, which is naught else but joy in the truth, 
a.ssTiredly they love also the truth ; which yet 
they would not love were there not some know- 
ledge of it in the memory. Wherefore, then, 
do they not rejoice in it ? Why are they not 
happy ? Because they are more entirely occu- 
pied with other things which rather make them 
miserable, than that which would make them 
happy, which they remember so little of. For 
there is yet a little light, in men ; let them walk 
— let them "walk," that the "darkness" seize 
them not.' 



^52 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book X« 



34. Why, then, doth truth beget hatred,* 
and that man of thine,' preaching the truth, 
become an enemy unto them, whereas a happy 
life is loved, which is naught else but joy in 
the truth; unless that truth is loved in such 
a sort as that those who love aught else wish 
that to be the truth which they love, and, as 
they are willing to be deceived,* are unwilling 
to be convinced that they are so ? Therefore 
do they hate the truth for the sake of that 

I thing which they love instead of the truth. 
They love truth when she shines on them, and 

• hate her when she rebukes them. For, because 
they are not willing to be deceived, and wish to 
deceive, they love her when she reveals herself, 

1 and hate her when she reveals them. On that 
account shall she so requite them, that those 
who were unwilling to be discovered by her 
she both discovers against their will, and dis- 
covers not herself unto them. Thus, thus, truly 
thus doth the human mind, so blind and sick, 
so base and unseemly, desire to lie concealed, 
but wishes not that anything should be con- 
cealed from it. But the opposite is rendered 
unto it, — that itself is not concealed from the 
truth, but the truth is concealed from it. Yet, 
even while thus wretched, it prefers to rejoice 
in truth rather than in falsehood. Happy then 
will it be, wJien, no trouble intervening, it shall 
rejoice in that only truth by whom all things 
else are true.^ 

CHAP. XXIV. — HE WHO FINDS TRUTH, FINDS 

GOD. 

35. Behold how I have enlarged in my mem- 
ory seeking Thee, O Lord ; and out of it have 
I not found Thee. Nor have I found aught 
concerning Thee, but what I have retained in 
memory from the time I learned Thee. For 
from the time I learned Thee have I never for- 
gotten Thee. For where I found truth, there 
found I my God, who is the Truth itself,' which 
from the time I learned it have I not forgotten. 
And thus since the time I learned Thee, Thou 
abidest in my memory ; and there do I find 
Thee whensoever I call Thee to remembrance, 
and delight in Thee. These are my holy de- 
lights, which Thou hast bestowed upon me in 
Thy mercy, having respect unto my poverty. 

CHAP. XXV. — ^HE is GLAD THAT GOD DWELLS IN 

HIS MEMORY. 

36. But where in my memory abidest Thou, 
O Lord, where dost Thou there abide ? What 
manner of chamber hast Thou there formed for 
Thyself? What sort of sanctuary hast Thou 

* ** Veritas pant odium." Compare Terence, Andrta, i. i, 41 : 
" Obftcquium amicos, Veritas odium parit." 

* John viii. 40. 

* See iv. c. Z3, aod vii. c. xo, above. 



erected for Thyself? Thou hast granted this 
honour to my memory, to take up Thy abode 
in it ; but in what quarter of it Thou abidest, I 
am considering. For in calling Thee to mind,* 
I soared beyond those parts of it which the 
beasts also possess, since I found Thee not there 
amongst the images of corporeal things ; ^d I 
arrived at those parts where I had committed 
the affections of my mind, nor there did I find 
Thee. And I entered into the very seat of my » 
mind, which it has in my memory, since the \ 
mind remembers itself also— nor wert Thou 
there. For as Thou art not a bodily image, 
nor the affection of a living creature, as when 
we rejoice, condole, desire, fear, remember, 
forget, or aught of the kind ; so neither art 
Thou the mind itself, because Thou art the 
Lord God of the mind ; and all these things j 
are changed, but Thou remainest unchangeablt^ 
over all, yet vouchsafest to dwell in my mem- 
ory, from the time I learned Thee. But why i 
do I now seek in what part of it Thou dwellest, i 
as if truly there were places in it ? Thou dost \ 
dwell in it assuredly, since I have remembered 
Thee from the time I learned Thee, and I find 
Thee in it when I call Thee to mind. 

CHAP. XXVI. — GOD EVERYWHERE ANSWERS THOSK 
WHO TAKET COUNSEL OF HIM. 

37. Where, then, did I find Thee, so as to 
be able to learn Thee? For Thou wert not in 
my memory before I learned Thee. Where, 
then, did I find Thee, so as to be able to learn 
Thee, but in Thee above me ? Place there i ^ 
none; we go both "backward" and "for- 
ward,*'* and there is no place. Everywhere, ( ■ 
Truth, dost Thou direct all who consult Thet* . 
and dost at once answer all, though they con 
suit Thee on divers things. Clearly dost Thou 
answer, though all do not with clearness hear. 
All consult Thee upon whatever they wish, 
though they hear not always that which they 
wish. He is Thy best servant who does not so 
much look to hear that from Thee which he 
himself wisheth, as to wish that which he 
heareth from Thee. 

CHAP. XXVI I. — HE GRIEVES THAT HE WAS SO 
LONG WITHOUT GOD. 

38. Too late did I love Thee, O Fairness, so 
ancient, and yet so new ! Too late did I love 
Thee ! For behold, Thou wert within, and I 
without, and there did I seek Thee ; I, unlovely, 
rushed heedlessly among the things of beauty 
Thou madest.* Thou wert with me, but I was 

4 In connection with Augustin's views as to memory, Locke's 
Essay on the Human Understandings ii. 10, and Stewart's Pkilot" 
0^hy of the Human Mind, c. 6, may t>e pronubly consulted. 

• Job zxiii. 8. 

* See p. 74, note i, above. 



Chap. XXX.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



not with Thee. Those things kept me far from 
Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, were 
not. Thou talledst, and criedst aloud, and 
Torcedst open my deafness. Thou didst gleam 
and shine, and chase away my blindness. Thou 
didst exhale odours, and I drew in my breath 
and do pant after Thee. I tasted, and do hun- 
ger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I 
bumed for Thy peace, 

CHAP. XXVIII. ON THE UISERV OF HUMAN LIFE. 

39. When I shall cleave unto Thee with all 
my being, then shall I in nothing have pain 
and labour ; and my life shall be a real life, be- 
ing wholly ftill of Thee. But now since he 
whom Thou fiUest is the one Thou liftest up, I 
am a burden to myseif, as nol being lull of 
Thee. Joys of sorrow contend wilh sorrows 
of joy ; and on whifh side the victory may be 
1 know not. Woe is me ! Lord, have pily on 
me. My evil sorrows contend with my good 
jo)^ ; and on which side the victory may be I 
know not. Woe is me! Lord, have pily on 
me. Woe is me 1 Lo, I hide not my wounds ; 
Thou art the Physician, I the sick ; Thou mer- 
ciful, I miserable. Is not the life of man upon 
earth a temptation?' Who is he that wishes 
for vexations and difficulties? Thou com- 
mandesC them lo be endured, not to be loved. 
For no man loves what he endures, though he 
may love to endure. For notwithstanding he 
rejoices to endure, he would rather there were 
naught for him to endure.' In adversity, I de- 
sire prosperity; in prosperity, I fear adversity. 
What middle place, then, is there between these, 
where human life is not a temptation ? Woe 
unto the prosperity of this world, once and 
again, from fear of misfortune and a corruption 
of joy ! Woe unto the adversities of this world, 
once and again, and for the third time, from 
the desire of prosperity ; and because adversity 
itself is a hard thing, and makes shipwreck of 
endurance ! Is not the life of man upon earth 
a temptation, and that without intermission ?■ 



' -ll ItllK. _ 

Apd Cq chit end ai cunccrncih c 
EtetclK tnr ■rnwiTuiti' nfMu.r, ' his ipirltui] wLv), 
Bin diuimr ^rilir ducluiuiilMaMI irdiatiinai, • the Splrit'i 
lejidlon uid ihc devtl'i leduccmcnb,' " See aha AukuhlIk'b 

leriimtt u when Ii ksiid, "ti<)d did lempi AhnluEn" (Gcd. Jiiii. 
ir : or viih the additidoo] i^x^oS jfittJimjt In die icmjHadDn, and 
M oraiiniuing iln, u in the uie uf the word in the l^onl'i l^Tiyir 
IMaR.n.ij): for.u tt^keuyi In tit AficJur/ ami l»t Di-^fm 
jWorki, i. »]. »4) : ■' Nu Ksner have ire bathed and wuhed out 

the fim dun of Satan's temnutioni 10 be driving at ui. WhU we 
IB mud piB iniB Suui by SrftnlaiKt, he leelu to nciln ud it- , 



CHAP. XXIX. — ALL HOPE IB IN THE MERLT OF 

40. .\nd my whole hope is only in Thy ex 
ceeding great mercy. Give what Thou com- 
mandeat, and command what Thou wilt. Thou 
imposest continency upon us,* " nevertheless, 
when I perceived," sailh one, "that 1 could 
not otherwise obtain her, except God gave her 
me i . . - that was a point of wisdom also to 
know whose gift she was."' For by continency 
are we bound up and brought into one, whence 
we were scattered abroad into many. For he 
loves Thee too little who loves aught with Thee, 
which he loves not for Thee,* O love, who ever 
burnest, and art never quenched I O charity, 
my God, kindle me I Thou coramandest con- 
tinency; give what Thou commandest, and 
command what Thou wilt, 

CHAP. XXX. OF THE PERVER,SE IMAGES OF 

DREAMS, WHICH HE WISHES TO HAVE TAKEN 
A WAV. 

41. Verily, Thou commandest that I should 
be continent from the " lust of the flesh, and 
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." ^ 
Thou hast commanded me to abstain from con- 
cubinage ; aiid as to marriage itself. Thou hast 
advised something better than Thou hast 
allowed. And because Thou didst give it, it 
was done ; and that before I became a dispenser 
of Thy sacrament. But there still exist in my 
memory — of which 1 have spoken much — the 
images of such things as my habits had fixed 
there ; and these rush into my thoughts, though (", 
strengthless, when I am awake; but in sleep ^^ 
they do so not only so as to give pleasure, but c: 
even to obtain consent, and what very nearly^ij^ 
resembles reality.' Yea, to such an extent pre- <^ 
vails the illusion of the image, both in my soul --i 
and in my flesh, that the false persuade r" 



-€, 



f ^iypi nillioul PhanDh'i punuit, & 
lutuslln, Ar £c, Jaann. Tnict. xliii 



i'S™; 







n hi." li. THt. ix, .J ("ft. mh.1 d..lTt «md l«,f differ"-,, h 












cferrtd tn iu Cfeaiot, it b dulrt {fi^iditu) and not tme lov. 














™^lh"he 








niheiriidemnv See alio p. Bo. note j.nboYe, 



Tboighti ind icelingi when awake. In thti lie hai the sup: 
AriMolle(«*Ki,l. i3),»i«l«lhatiifSidoiiion,*hoM)-sll 

— ibuurulmi of thla it found In IhelUeol Ihe neat Danish 

Thorw»ld«n. Iiisi '■ - ' '■ 

lodeli for nt C'*rii 

Hil DOb 



154 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book X 



when sleeping, unto that which the true are not 
able when waking. Am I not myself at that 
time, O Lord my God ? And there is yet so 
much difference between myself and myself, in 
that instant wherein I p>ass back from waking 
to sleeping, of return from sleeping to waking ! 
Where, then, is the reason which when waking 
resists such suggestions? And if the things 
themselves be forced on it, I remain unmoved. 
Is it shut up with the eyes ? Or is it put to 
sleep with the bodily senses? But whence, 
then, comes it to pass, that even in slumber we 
often resist, and, bearing our purpose in mind, 
and continuing most chastely in it, yield no 
assent to such allurements? And there is yet 
so much difference that, when it happeneth 
otherwise, upon awaking we return to peace of 
conscience ; and by this same diversity do we 
discover that it was not we that did it, while we 
still feel sorry that in some way it was done in us. 

42. Is not Thy hand able, O Almighty God, 
to heal all the diseases of my soul,* and by Thy 
more abundant grace to quench even the las- 
civious motions of my sleep? Thou wilt in- 
crease in me, O Lord, Thy gifts more and more, 
that my soul may follow me to Thee, disengaged 
from the bird-lime of concupiscence ; that it 
may not be in rebellion against itself, and even 
in dreams not simply not, through sensual im- 
ages, commit those deformities of corruption, 
even to the pollution of the flesh, but that it 
may not even consent unto them. For it is no 
great thing for the Almighty, who is ** able to 
do . . . above all that we ask or think,'*' to 
bring it about that no such influence — not even 
so slight a one as a sign might restrain — should 
afford gratification to the chaste affection even 
of one sleeping; and that not only in this life, 
but at my present age. But what I still am 
in this species of my ill, have I confessed unto 
my good Lord ; rejoicing with trembling* in 
that which Thou hast given me, and bewailing 
myself for that wherein I am still imperfect ; 
trusting that Thou wilt perfect Thy mercies 

. in me, even to the fulness of peace, which both 
that which is within and that which is without* 
shall have with Thee, when death is swallowed 
up in victory.* 

CHAP. XXXI. — ABOUT TO SPEAK OF THE TEMPTA- 
TIONS OF THE LUST OF THE FLESH, HE FIRST 
CX)MPLAINS OF THE LUST OF EATING AND 
DRINKING. 

43. There is another evil of the day that I 
would were '* sufficient ** unto it.* For by eat- 

1 Ps. ciii. 3. 
' Eph. iii. 20. 

• Ps. ii. II. 

^ Sec note 4, p. 140, above. 

• 1 Cor. XV. 54. 

• Matt. vi. 34. 



ing and drinking we repair the daily decays of 
the body, until Thou destroyest both food and 
stomach, when Thou shalt destroy my want with 
an amazing satiety, and shalt clothe this cor- 
ruptible with an eternal incorrupt ion. ^ But now 
is necessity sweet unto me, and against this 
sweetness do I fight, lest I be enthralled ; and I 
carry on a daily war by fastings," oftentimes 
** bringing my body into subjection,'** and my 
pains are expelled by pleasure. For hunger .and 
thirst are in some sort pains ; they consume and 
destroy like unto a fever, unless the medicine of 
nourishment relieve us. The which, since it is 
at hand through the comfort we receive of Thy 
gifts, with which land and water and air serve 
our infirmity, our calamity is called pleasure. 

44. This much hast Thou taught me, that l\j 
should bring myself totake food^_ medicine. M 
But during the time that I am passing n^m the 
uneasiness of want to the calmness of satiety, 
even in the very passage doth that snare of con- 
cupiscence lie in wait for me. For the passage 
itself is pleasure, nor is there any other way of 
passing thither, whither necessity compels us to 
pass. And whereas health is the reason of eat- 
ing and drinking, there joineth itself as an hand- 
maid a perilous delight, which mostly tries to 
precede it, in order that I may do for her sake 
what I say I do, or desire to do, for health's 
sake. Nor have l)oth the same limit ; for what 

is sufficient for health is too little for plea.sure. 
And oftentimes it is doubtful whether it be the 
necessary care of the body which still asks nour- 
ishment, or whether a sensual snare of desire 
offers its ministry. In this uncertainty does my 
unhappy soul rejoice, and therein prepares an 
excuse as a defence, glad that it doth not appear 
what may be sufficient for the moderation of 
health, that so under the pretence of health it 
may conceal the business of pleasure. These 
temptations do I daily endeavour to resist, and 
1 summon Thy right hand to my help, and re- 
fer my excitements to Thee, because as yet I 
have no resolve in this matter. 

45. I hear the voice of my God command- 
ing, let not *' your hearts be overcharged with 
surfeiting and drunkenness.'***' "Drunken- 
ness," it is far from me ; Thou wilt have mercy, 
that it approach not near unto me. But ** sur- 
feiting " sometimes creepeth upon Thy servant ; 
Thou wilt have mercy, that it may be far from 
me. For no man can be continent unless Thou 
give it." Many things which we pray for dost 

7 I Cor. XV. 54. 

8 In Augustin's time, and indeed till the Council of Orleans, a. d. 
538, fasting appears to have been left pretty much to the individual 
conscience. Wc find Tertullian in his Df Jcjurtio lamenting the sliriit 
olfscrvance it received during his day. We learn, however, froto the 
passage in Justin Martyr, quoted in note 4, on p. 118, above, that 
m his time it was enjoined as a preparation for Baptism. 

• I Cor. ix. 27. 
W Luke xxi. 34. 
U Wisd. viii. ai. 



Crap. XXXI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



155 



Thou give us; and what good soever we re- 
ceive before we prayed for it, do we receive 
from Thee, and that we might afterwards know 
this did we receive it from Thee. Drunkard 
was I never, but I have known drunkards to be 
made sober men by Thee. Thy doing, then, 
was it, that they who nevef were such might 
not be so, as from Thee it was that they who 
have been so heretofore might not remain so 
always ; and from Thee, too, was it, that both 
might know from whom it was. I heard an- 
other voice of Thine, " Go not after thy lusts, 
but refrain thyself from thine appetites." ' And 
by Thy favour have I heard this saying likewise, 
which I have much delighted in, ** Neither if 
we eat, are if e the better ; neither if we eat not, 
are we the worse ;** * which is to say, that neither 
shall the one make me to abound, nor the other 
to be wretched. I heard also another voice, 
** For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, 
therewith to be content, I know both how to be 
abased, and I know how to abound. ... I can 
do all things through Christ which strengtheneth 
me.**' Lo ! a soldier of the celestial camp — 
not dust as we are. But remember, O Lord, 
"that we are diist,"* and that of dust Thou 
hast created man;* and he "was lost, and is 
found.'** Nor could he do this of his own 
power, seeing that he whom I so loved, saying 
these things through the afflatus of Thy inspira- 
tion, was of that same dust. "I can," saith 
he, " do all things through Him which strength- 
eneth me."^ Strengthen me, that I may be 
able. Give what Thou commandest, and com- 
mand what Thou wilt.' He confesses to have 
received, and when he glorieth, he glorieth in 
the Lord.? Another have I heard entreating 
that he might receive, — " Take from me," saith 
he, " the greediness of the belly ; " *^ by which 
it appeareth, O my holy God, that Thou givest 
when what Thou commandest to be done is done. 
46. Thou hast taught me, good Father, that 
" unto the pure all things are pure ; " " but " it 
is evil for that man who eateth with offence ; " " 
" and that every creature of Thine is good, and 
nothing to be refused, if it be received with 
thanksgiving; " " and that " meat commendeth 
us not to God;"** and that no man should 



> Eccltis. xvHi. y>, 

• I Cor. viii. 8. 

» Phil. iv. n-14. 
■ * P». ciiL 14. 

• G«n. Hi. 19. 

• Luke XV, y%. 
T Phil. iv. 13. 

• In his /V Dimo Ptrseo. ace. 53, he'tells us that these words 
vere quoted to Pelagius, when at Rome, by a certain bishop, and 
that they excited him to contradict them »o warmly as nearly to re- 
sult in a rupture between Pelagius and the bishop. 

• X Cor. i. 31. 

^ Ecchis. xxiii. 6. 
" Titus i. 15. 
w Rom. xiv. ao. 
w X Tim. iv. 4. 
M X Cor. vlu. 8. 



"judge US in meat or in drink ; " " and that he 
that eateth, let him not despise him that eateth 
not ; and let not him that eateth not judge him 
that eateth.** These things have I learned, 
thanks and praise be unto Thee, O my God 
and Master, who dost knock at my ears and 
enlighten my heart ; deliver me out of all temp- 
tation. It is not the uncleanness of meat that 
I fear, but the uncleanness of lusting. I know 
that permission was granted unto Noah to eat 
every kind of flesh " that was good for food ; " 
that Elias was fed with flesh ; " that John, en- 
dued with a wonderful abstinence, was not pol- 
luted by the living creatures (that is, the 
locusts") which he fed on. I know, too, that 
Esau was deceived by a longing for lentiles," 
and that David took blame to himself for de- 
siring water,** and that our King was tempted 
not by flesh but bread.** And the people in 
the wilderness, therefore, also deserved reproof, 
not because they desired flesh, but because, in 
their desire for food, they murmured against 
the Lord." 

47. Placed, then, in the midst of these temp- 
tations, I strive daily against longing for food 
and drink. For it is not of such a nature as 
that I am able to resolve to cut it off" once for 
all, and not touch it afterwards, as I was able 
to do with concubinage. The bridle of the 
throat, therefore, is to be held in the mean of 
slackness and tightness.* And who, O Lord, 
is he who is not in some degree carried av^ay 
beyond the bounds of necessity ? Whoever he 
is, he is great; let him magnify Thy name. 
But I am not such a one, **for I am a sinful 
man."* Yet do I also magnify Thy name; 
and He who hath ** overcome the world"" 
maketh intercession to Thee for my sins,* ac- 
counting me among the "feeble members" of 
His body,* because Thine eyes saw that of him 
which was imperfect; and in Thy book ail 
shall be written.* 



« Col. ii. x6. 

*• Rom. xiii. 23. 

1' He here refers to the doctrine of the Manichscans in the matter 
of eatinz flesh. In his De Mor. Manich. sees. 31^, 37, be discuss«s 
the prohibition of flesh to the " Elect." From £p. ccxxxvi. we 
find that the " Hearers" had not to practise abstinence from raar> 
riage and from eatins flesh. For other information on this subject, 
see notes, pp. 66 andSs. 

w Gen. ix. 3. 

*• I KingK xvii. 6. 

« Matt. lii. 4. 

•^ Gen. XXV. ^. 

" a Sam xxiii. 15-17. 

" Matt. iv. 3. 

** Num. xi. 

* So all God's gifts are to be used, but not abused : and those 
who deny the ri^ht use of any, do so by virtually accepting the 
principle of asceticism. As Augiistin, in his Dejn(fr. Ecc. Lath. 
sec. 39, says of all transient things, we " shouhch use them as far as 
is required for the purposes and duties of life, with the moderation 
of an employer instead of the ardour of a lover." 

* Luke V. 8. • 
•^ John xvi. 33. 

* Kom. viii. 34. 

* I Cor. xii. aa. 

*> Ps. cxxxix. 16: he similarly applies this passage when com* 
menting on it in Pi, cxxxviii. ax, ana also in Serm. cxxxv. 



156 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN.- [Book X. 

CHAP, xxxii. — OF THE CHARMS OF PERFUMES Dot SO attend on reason as to follow her 

WHICH ARE MORE EASILY OVERCOME. patiently ; but having gained admission merely 

48. With the attractions of odoure I am not [°'"''" 't''*''u'' V"!J^ ^"'^-Su'" ^.x.°" ^■°'^ 
much troubled. When absent I do not seek ^'' ^"*^ ^ *>«■; ^^^f- J^^VV^^ ^'""^ 
them ; when present I do not refuse them ; and ^° ^ sm unknowmg, but afterwards do I know it. 
am prepared ever to be without them. At any fo- Sometimes, agam, avoidmg very eam- 
rate thOT I appear to myself; perchance I am ^stly this same deception, I err out of too great 
deceived. For that also is a l^entable dark- Pjeciseness; and sometimes so much as to de- 
ness wherein my capacity that is in me is con- ^"^ ^^f' «^"y air of the pleasant songs to which 
cealed, so that my mind, making inquiry into P^^'^^ ^ ^^^^^^ '«^°ft«" "^' '^ ^u"" ^•J^?' 
herself concerning her own poters, ventures ^^ F^V ^^"^ ^^^ those of the Church itself; 
not readily to credit herself; because that which ^"^^ *^*' "^^^ ?^™«^ unto me safer which I re- 
is already in it is, for the most part, concealed, membered to have been often related to me of 
unless experience reveal it. And no man ought Athanasms, Bishop of Alexandria, who obliged 
to feel secure' in this life, the whole of which is the reader of the p^lm to give utterance to it 
called a temptation,* that he, who could l^ *'"^ ^,.f'^^^ ^" jnAe^t'on of voi<*, that it was 
made better from worse, may not also from ^o^e like speaking than singing. Notwith- 
better be made worse. Our sole hope, our sole standing, when I cal to mind the teats r shed 
confidence, our sole assured promis^, is Thy at the son^ of Thy Church, at the outset of my 

"^ recovered faith, and how even now I am moved 

^' not by the singing but by what is sung, when 

.CHAP. xxxiii.-HE OVERCAME THE PLEASURES f ^ey are sung with a clear and skilfully modu- 

OF THE EAR, ALTHOUciH IN THE CHURCH HE j^tcd voice, I then acknowledge the great util 

FREQUENTLY DELIGHTED IN THE SONG, NOT J.^^ ^^ ^^'^ 5^"^^^"^' ThuS vacillate I betw< 

txi Ttrv -ruiMr- ctTxrr- dangerous pleasurc and tried soundness; beini 

inclined rather (though I pronounce no irrevo) 

49. The delights of the ear had more power- cable opinion upon the subject) to approve of 
fully inveigled and conquered me, but Thou the use of singing in the church, that so by th^ 
didst unbind and liberate me. Now, in those delights of the ear the weaker minds may 1 
airs which Thy words breathe soul into, when stimulated to a devotional frame. Yet when 
sung with a sweet and trained voice, do I some- happens to me to be more moved by the sini 
what repose ; yet not so as to cling to them, ing than by what is sung, I confess myself to 
but so as to free myself when I wish. But with have sinned criminally, and then I would rather 
the words which are their life do they, that they not have heard the singing. See now the con- 
may gain admission into me, strive after a dition I am in ! Weep with me, and weep for 
place of some honour in my heart ; and I can me, you who so control your inward feelings as 
hardly assign them a fitting one. Sometimes I that good results ensue. As for you who do 
appear to myself to give them more respect than not thus act, these things concern you not. 
is fitting, as I perceive that our minds are more But Thou, O Lord my God, give ear, behold 
devoutly and earnestly elevated into a flame of and see, and have mercy upon me, and heal 
piety by the holy words themselves when they me,»— Thou, in whose sight I am become a 
are thus sung, than when they are not; and puzzle to myself ; and *' this is my infirmity."* 
that all affections of our spirit, by their own 

diversity, have their appropriate measures in Vhap. xxxiv.— of the very dangerous allure- 

the voice and singing, wherewith by I know not / ments of the eyes; on account of beauty 

what secret relationship they are stimulated. \of form, god, the creator, is to be 

But the gratification of my flesh, to which the • praised. 

mind ought never to be given over to be ener- ^, • .1 j i- i . r .1 

vated, often beguiles me? while the sense does S^- Jhere remain the delights of these eyes 

of my flesh, concerning which to make my con- 

i - For some." says Tfiomas Tavlor (Works, vol. x. " Christ's ^^^^^^"^ ''' }^^ hearing of the earS of Thy tCm- 

Temptation," p. ii), "through vam preficfence of God's protcc- pie, those fraternal and devout ears ; and so to 

tion, nin in times of contagion into infected housts, which upon just ^^„^i,,j« 4.u^ *..*.^,-.«-««..*^«r. «r a t-U^ 1..^* ^r «.U^ 

calling a man may : but tor one to run out of his cklling in {he iay COncludC the tCmptatlOnS Of '* the lUSt Of thC 

of an ordinary visitation, he shall find that God's angcFs have com- flesh ** * which Still aSSail llie, gTOaning and de- 
mission to protect him no longer than he is m his way (Ps. xci. it), . . 1 1 ^1 1 • I 1 f 
and that being out of it. this arrow of the Lord shall sooner hit him Siring tO be ClOthcd Upon With my hOUSe frOm 
than another that is not half so confident." We should not, as Kp^av^n • TViP (^\rf^ e\f>'\\<rhf in fiir anH v2iri#»/4 
Fuller quaintly says, "hollo in the ears of a sleeping temptation:" ^^^^VCn. 1 nC CyCS QeUgni m lair aUQ VanCQ 
and when we are tempted, let us remember that if (Hibbcrt, Syn- formS, and bright and pleasiug COloUrS. Suffcr 

tagma Theologicutn , p. 34a) " a giant knock while the door is shut, 

he may with ease be still kept out ; but if once open, that he gets in 

but a limb of himself, then there is no course left to keep out the » Ps.* vi. a. 

remaining bulk." See also Augustin on Peter's case, De Cor- * Ps. Ixxvii. xo, 

rept. et Orat. c. o. 61 John ii. x6. 

* Job vii. X, 0/a Vers. Sec p. 153, note z. • 3 Cor. v. a. 



CllAP. XXXV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



157 



not these to take possession of my soul ; let 
God rather possess it, He who made these things 
. "very good"' indeed; yet is He my good, 
not these- And these move me while awake, 
during the day ; nor is rest from them granted 
me, as there is from the voices of melody, some- 
times, in silence, from them all. For that 
queen of colours, the light, flooding all that we 
look upon, wherever I be during the day, glid- 
ing past me in manifold forms, doth soothe me 
when busied about other things, and not notic- 
ing it. And so strongly doth it insinuate itself, 
that if it be suddenly withdrawn it is looked for 
longingly, and if long absent doth sadden the 
mind. 

52. O Thou Light, which Tobias saw,' when, 
his eyes being closed, he taught his son Ihe way 
of life ; himself going before with the feet of 
charity, never going asitay. Or that which 
Isaac saw, when his Reshly "eyes were dim, so 
that he could not see " ' by reason of old age ; 
it was permitted him, not knowingly to bless 
his sons, but in blessing them to know them. 
Or that which Jacob saw, when he too, blind 
through great age, with an enlightened heart, 
in the persons of his own sons, threw light upon 
the races of the future people, presignified in 
them; and laid his hands, mystically crossed, 
upon his grandchildren by Joseph, not as their 

■ father, looking outwardly, corrected them, but 
as he himself distinguished them.' This is th(f 
light, the only one, and _all those who see and 
love it are one. But that corporeal light of 
■which I was speaking seasoneth the life of the 
world for her blind lovers, with a tempting and 
fatal sweetness. But they who know how to 
praise Thee for it, " O God, the world's great 
Architect,"* take it up in Thy hymn, and are 
not taken up with it* in their sleep. Such de- 
sire L to be. I resist seductions of the eyes, 
lest my feet with which I advance on Thy way 
be entangled ; and I raise my invisible eyes to 
Thee, that Thou wouldst be pleased to " pluck 
my feet out of the net.'" Thou dost continu- 
ally pluck them out, for they are ensnared. 
Thou never ceasest to pluck them out, but I 
constantly remain fast in the snares set al) 
around me ; because Thou " that kcepest Israel 
shall neither slumber nor sleep."* 

53. What numberless things, made by divers 
arts and manufactures, both in our apparel, 
shoes, vessels, and every kind of work, in pict- 
ures, too, and sundry images, and these going 



*Totiui*. 

• Gtn. ilvliL 1 j-io. 

> Fmn ihe beginalnf of the hyiDD of 5l. Ambmc. part of which 



r^ 



far beyond necessary and moderate use and 
lioly signification, have men added for the en- 
thralment of the eyes; following outwardly 
what they make, forsaking inwardly Him by 
whom they were made, yea, and destroying 
that which they themselves were made 1 But 1 
O my God and my Joy, do hence also sing a 
hymn unto Thee, and offer a sacrifice of praise 
unto my Sanctifier,' because those beautiful 
patterns, which through the medium of men's 
souls are conveyed into their artistic hands," 
emanate from that Beauty which is above our 
souls, which my soul sigheth after day and 
night. But as for the makers and followers of 
those outward beauties, they from thence de- 
rive the way of approving them, but not of 
using them." And though they see Him not, 
yet is He there, that they might not go astray, 
but keep their strength for Thee," and not dissi- 
pate it upon debcious lassitudes. And I, 
though I both say and perceive this, impede 
my course with such beauties, but Thou dost 
rescue me, O Lord, Thou dost rescue me ; 
'• for Thy loving-kindness is before mine 
eyes."" For I am taken miserably, and Thou 
rescuest me mercifully; sometimes not perceiv- 
ing it, in that I had come upon them hesitat- 
ingly ; at other times with pain, because I was 
held fast by them. 



CTIAF. XXKV. ANOTHER KIND OF TEMPTATION 

IS CUKIOSITY, WHICH IS STIMULATED BY THE 
LUST OF THE EVES. 

54. In addition to this there is another form 
of temptation, more complex in its peril. For 
besides that concupiscence of the flesh which 
iieth in the gratification of all senses and pleas- 
ures,- wherein its slaves who " are far from Thee 
perish,"" there jjertaineth to the soul, through 
the same sen.ses of the body, a certain vain and 
curious longing, cloaked under the name of 
knowledge and learning, not of having pleasure 
in the flesh, but of making experiments through 
the flesh. This longing, since it originates in 
an appetite for knowledge, and the sight being 
the chief amongst the senses in the acquisition 
of knowledge, is called in divine language, 
" the lust of the eyes."" For seeing belongeth 
properly to the eyes j yet we apply this word' 
to the other senses also, when we exercise them 
in the search after knowledge. For we do not 
say, Listen how it glows, smell how it glistens, 
taste how it shines, or feel how it flashes, since 
all these are said to be seen. And yet we say 



■ Santtificaliri mis, but %a 



fi. have tmcrificMi 



158 



THE. CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book X. 




not only, See how it shineth, which the eyes 
alone can perceive ; but also, See how it sound- 
eth, see how it smelleth, see how it tasteth, see 
how hard it is. And thus the general experi- 
ence of the senses, as was said before, is termed 
" the lust of the eyes," because the flinction of 
seeing, wherein the eyes hold the pre-eminence, 
the other senses by way of similitude take pos- 
session of, whensoever they seek out any know- 
ledge. 

55. But by this is it more clearly discerned, 
when pleasure and when curiosity is pursued by 
the senses; for (pleasure follows after objects 
that are beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savoury, 
soft ; but curiosity, for experiment's sake, seeks 
the contrary of these, — not with a view of 
undergoing uneasiness, but from the passion 
of experimenting upon and knowing them. 
For what pleasure is there to see, in a lacerated 
corpse, that which makes you shudder ?J And 
yet if it lie near, we flock thither, to be made 
sad, and to turn |>ale. Even in sleep they fear 
lest they should see it. Just as if when awake 
any one compelled them to go and see it, or 
any report of its beauty had attracted them ! 
Thus also is it with the other senses, which it 
were tedious to pursue. From this malady of 
curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited 
in the theatre. Hence do we proceed to search 
out the secret powers of nature (which is beside 
our end), which to know profits not,* and 
wherein men desire nothing but to know. 
Hence, too, with that same end of perverted 
knowledge we consult magical arts. Hence, 
again, even in religion itself, is God tempted, 
when signs and wonders are eagerly asked of 
Him, — not desired for any saving end, but to 
make trial only. 

56. In this so vast a wilderness, replete with 
snares and dangers, lo, many of them have I 
lopped off, and expelled from my heart, as 
Thou, O God of my salvation, hast enabled me 
to do. And yet when dare I say, since so many 
things of this kind buzz around our daily life, — 
when dare I say that no such thing makes me 
intent to see it, or creates in me vain solicitude ? 
It is true that the theatres never now carry me 
away, nor do I now care to know the courses 
of the stars, nor hath my soul at any time con- 
sulted departed spirits ; all sacrilegious oaths I 
abhor. O Lord my God, to whom I owe all 
humble and single-hearted service, with what 



» Auguslin's great end was to attain the knowledge of God. 
Hence, in his Sttiiioguia'x. 7, we read: •' Deum ct animam scire 
cupiu. Nihilncplus? Nihil omnino," And he on Iv esteemed the 
knowledge of physical laws so far as they would lead to Him. (See 
V, sec. 7, above, and the note there.) In his De Ordine, ii. 14, 15, 
etc.. writing at the lime of his conversion, he had contended that 
the knowledge of the liberal sciences would lead to a knowledge of 
tnc divine wisdom ; but in his Retractations (i. 3, sec. a) he regrets 
this, pointing out that while many holy men have not this know- 
ledge, many who have it are not holy. Compare also Enchir. c. 
x6 ; Serm, Ixviii. x, 2 ; and D* Civ. Dei, ix. aa. 



subtlety of suggestion does the enemy influence 
me to require some sign from Thee ! But by 
our King, and by our pure and chaste country 
Jerusalem, I beseech Thee, that as any consent- 
ing unto such thoughts is far from me, so may 
it always be farther and farther. But when I 
entreat Thee for the salvation of any, the end I 
aim at is far otherwise, and Thou who doest 
what Thou wilt, givest and wilt give me will- 
ingly to " follow '* Thee.*^ 

57. Nevertheless, in how many most minute 
and contemptible things is our curiosity daily 
tempted, and who can number how often we 
succumb? How often, when people are nar- 
rating idle tales, do we begin by tolerating 
them, lest we should give offence unto the weak ; 
and then gradually we listen willingly ! I do 
not now-a-days go to the circus to see a dog 
chasing a hare ;* but if by chance I pass such a 
coursing in the fields, it possibly distracts me 
even from some serious thought, and draws me 
after it, — not that I turn the body of my beast 
aside, but the inclination of my mind. And 
except Thou, by demonstrating to me my 
weakness, dost speedily warn me, either through 
the sight itself, by some reflection to rise to 
Thee, or wholly to despise and pass it by, I, 
vain one, am absorbed by it. How is it, when 
sitting at home, a lizard catching flies, or a 
spider entangling them as they rush -into her 
nets, oftentimes arrests me ? Is the feeling of 
curiosity not the same because these are such) 
tiny creatures ? From them I proceed to prais 
Thee, the wonderful Creator and Disposer 
all things; but it is not this that first attracts 
attention. It is one thing to get up quick] 
and another not to fall, and of such things is 
my life full ; apd my only hope is in Thy ex- 
ceeding great mercy. For when this heart of 
ours is made the receptacle of such things, and 
bears crowds of this abounding vanity, then are 
our prayers often internipted and disturbed 
thereby ; and whilst in Thy presence we direct 
the voice of our heart to I'hine ears, this so 
great a matter is broken off by the influx of I 
know not what idle thoughts. 

^-HAP. XXXVI. — A THIRD KIND IS "PRIDE," 
1 WHICH IS PLEASING TO MAN, NOT TO GOD. 

\58. Shall we, then, account this too amongst 
such things as are to be lightly esteemed, or 
shall anything restore us to hope, save Thy 
complete mercy, since Thou hast begun to 
change us? And Thou knowest to what ex- 
tent Thou hast already changed me. Thou who 

* John xxi. aa. 

s In allusion to those venatios, or hunting scenes, in which die 
less sava>;e animals were slain. These were held in the dn^us, 
which was tometimes planted for the occasioft, so as to resemble at 
forest. See Smith's Greekand Roman Antiquitits, under " Vcna- 
tio," and vi. sec. 13, note, above. 



Chap. XXXVII.] THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



159 



first healest me of the lust of vindicating my- 
self, that so Thou mightest forgive all my re- 
maining "iniquities," and heal all my " dis- 
eases," and r«ieem my life from corruption, 
and crown me with " loving-kindness and ten- 
der mercies," and satisfy my desire with "good 
things;"' who didst restrain my pride with 
Thy fear, and subdue myneck to Thy "yoke." 
And now I bear it, and it is "light"' unto me, 
because so hast Thou promised, and made it, 
and so in trpth it was, though I knew it not, 
when I feared to take it up. But, O Lord, — 
Thou who alone reignest without pride, because 
Thou art the only true Lord, who hast no lord, 
— halh this third kind of temptation left me, or 
can it leave me during this life? 

59. The desire to be feared and loved of 
men, with no other view than that 1 may expe- 
rience a joy therein which is no joy, is a miser- 
able life, and unseemly ostentation. Hence 
especially it arises that we do not love Thee, 
nor devoutly fear Thee. And therefore dost 
Thou resist the proud, but givest grace unto the 
humble ;' and Thou thunderest upon the ambi- 
tious designs of the world, and " the founda- 
tions of the hills ' ' tremble.' Because now cer- 
tain offices of human society render it necessary 
to be loved and feared of men, the adversary 
of our true blessedness presseth hard upon us, 
everywhere scattering his snares of " well done, 
well done; " that while acquiring them eagerly, 
we may be caught unawares, and disunite our 
joy from Thy truth, and fix it on the deceits of 
men ; and take pleasure in being loved and 
feared, not for Thy sake, but in Thy slead, by 
which means, being made like unto him, he 
may have them as his, not in harmony of love, 
but in the fellowship of punishment; who 
aspired to exalt his throne in the north,' that 
dark and cold they might serve him, imitating 
Thee in perverse and distorted ways. But we, 1 
O Lord, lo, we are Thy "little flock;"* do 
Thou possess us, stretch Thy wings over us, and 
let us take refuge under them. Be Thou our 
gloty ; let us be loved for Thy sake, and Thy 
word feared in us. They who desire to be 
commended of men when Thou blamest, will ' 
not be defended of men whe" Thou judgest ; 
nor will they be delivered when Thou con- 
demnest. But when not the sinner is praised 
in the desires of his soul, nor he blessed who 
doeth unjustly,' but a man is praised for some 
gift that Thou hast bestowed upon him, and he 
is more gratified at the praise for himself. 



than that he possesses the gift for which he is 
pru.ia(:d| such a one is praised while Thou blam- 
L->t. And better truly is he who praised than 
ihi one who was praised. For the gift of God 
in man was pleasing to the one, while the other 
was better pleased with the gift of man tbaa 
that of God. 



'chap. XXXVll. — HE IS TOBaBLV GOADED OM 
^\ BY THE LOVE OF PRAISE. 

60. By these temptations, O Lord, are we daily 

tried; yea, unceasingly are we tried. Our daily 
" furnace"* is the human tongue. And in this 
respect also dost Thou command us to be con- 
tinent. Give what Thou commandest, and 
foniniand what Thou wilt. Regarding this 
matter. Thou knowest the groans of my heart, 
and the rivers' of mine eyes. For I am not 
able to ascertain how far I am clean of this 
|)lagLie, and I stand in great fear of my "secret 
faults,"" which Thine eyes perceive, thou^ 
mine do not. For in other kinds of tempta- 
tions I have some sort of power of examining 
myself; but in this, hardly any. For, both as 
regards the pleasures of the flesh and an idle 
( iirioijity, I see how far I have been able to hrid 
my inind in check when 1 do without them, 
eiiht-r voluntarily or by reason of their not 
being at hand;" for then I inquire of myself 
how much more or less troublesome it is to me 
not to have them. Riches truly which are 
sought for in order that they may minister to 
soniL- one of these three "lusts,"" or to two, or 
the whole of them, if the mind be not able to 
si.-e dearly whether, when it hath them, it de- 
s|iiscih them, they may be cast on one side, thai 
si.> it may prove itself But if we desire to test 
our jjower of doing without praise, need we 
live ill, and that so flagitiously and immoderately 
a,s that every one who knows us shall detest us? 
What greater madness than this can be either 
sail! or conceived? But if praise both is wont 
and riught to be the companion of a good life 
and of good works, we should as little for^o 
its (.ompanionship as a good life itself, ^tf 
imlfsi a thing be absent, I do not know whether 
I shall be contented or troubled at being with- 
out it. 

61. What, then, do I confess unto Thee, O 
Lord, in this kind of temptation? What, save 
that 1 am delighted with praise, but more with 
tlie tmth itself than with praise ? For were I to 
have my choice, whether I had rather, being 



• lu. ihr. 13, 14. 



• t». <l*Ul. 10, and Pnx 

• Uim. ill. 48. 

1" P.. xix n. S™ nole ■ 
l-\\n},a Diy.raRtlig.t 
whfniicome.ioaac-' — 
■• >« DH votUtly thi 



.'ilfdbcli 
Sec bediming of lec 



i6o 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[BookX. 



mad, or astray on all things, be praised by all 
men, or, being firm and well-a.ssured in (he 
truth, be blamed by all, I see which I should 
choose. Yet would I be unwilling that the ap- 
proval of another should even add to my joy for 
any good I have. Yet I admit that it doth in- 
crease it, and, more than that, that dispraise doth 
diminish it. And when I am disijuieted at this 
misery of mine, an excuse presents itself to me, 
the value of which Thou, God, knowest, for it 
renders me uncertain. For since it is not con- 
tinency alone that Thou hast enjoined upon us, 
that is, from what things to hold back our love, 
but righteousness also, that is, upon what to 
bestow it, and hast wished us to love not Thee 
only, but a!so our neighbour,' — often, whi 
gratified by intelligent praise, I appear to myself 
to be gratified by the proficiency or towardliness 
of my neighbour, and again to be sorry for evil 
in him when 1 hear him dispraise either that 
which he understands not, or is good. For I am 
sometimes grieved at mine own praise, either 
when those things which I am displeased at in 
myself be praised in me, or even lesser and 
trifling goods are more valued than they should 
"be. But, again, how do I know whether I am 
thus affected, because I am unwilling that he who 
praiseth me should differ from me concerning 
myself — not as being moved with consideration 
for him, but because the same good things which 
please me in myself are more jileasing to me 
when they also please another? For, in a sort, 
I am not praised when my judgment of myself 
is not praised ; since either those things which 
are displeasing to me are praised, or those more 
so which are less pleasing lo me. Am I then 
uncertain of myself in this matter? 

6a. Behold, O Truth, in Thee do I see that 
I ought not to be moved at my own praises for 
jny own sake, but for my neighbour's good. 
And whether it be so, in truth I know not. For 
concerning this I know less of myself than dost 
Thou, I beseech Thee now, O my God, to 
reveal to me myself also, that I may confess 
unto my brethren, who are to pray for nie, what 
I find in myself weak. Once again let me more 
diligently examine myself.' If, in mine own 
praise, I am moved with consideration for my 



1 XjCV. nil. iB, See bookiir, iea,_», 41, bclnw. 

> It may be vrcU, In CDnncclion wilh ihc i^irlkinic piece or nn 
■Baumy In thu indihelaBI Iwo Haloid, 10 Bdveniu other puue 
In wbicTi AuEUhiin aj^eski of the lemr^atjon arUing fnini the ptni 

fUIke praise when it comes from the Euod, though fetlitig ii ■□ be 
" ■ lint quibm prflcdi 
a '■ ndjir ' ■ 



"Dim u, h beiuyii abave, I 

ImSieittd a wninB coniliiiDi 
he mrgiKA in )i'a /V Sfrm, 






ijlhbirar'ipQod." 

■&"!^,'ih'rnfo™*M 
I, >, e, loteethiLtihe 



S^^ 



« that of God. SmUaSirmt.i 



neighbour, why am 1 less moved if soroe other 
man be unjustly dispraised than if it be myself? 
Why am I more irritated at that reproach which 
is cast upon myself, than at that which is with 
equal injustice cast upon another in my pres- 
ence? Am I ignorant of this also? or does it 
remain that I deceive myself,' and do not the 
" truth" * before Thee in my heart and tongue? 
Put such madness far from me, O Lord, lest 
my mouth be to me the oil of sinners, to anoint 
my head.* 



63. " I am poor and needy," ' yet better am 
I while in secret groaning.s I displease myself, 
and seek for Thy mercy, until what is lacking 
ill me be renewed and made complete, even up 
to that peace of which the eye of the proud is 
ignorant. Vet the word which proceedeth out 
of the mouth, and actions known to men, have 
a most dangerous temptation from the love of 
praise, which, for the establishing of a certain 
excellency of our own, gathers together solicited 
suffrages. It tempts, even when within I re- 
prove myself for it, on the very ground that it 
is reproved ; and often man glories more vainly 
of the very scorn of vain-glory ; wherefore it is 
not any longer scorn of vain-glory whereof it 
glories, for he does not truly contemn it when 
he inwardly glories. 



64, Within also, within is another evil, aris- 
ing out of the same kind of temptation ; where- 
by they become empty who please themselves in 
themselves, although they plea-se not, ordisplease, 
or aim at pleasing others. But in pleasing them- 
selves, they much displease Thee, not merely tak- 
ing pleasure in things not good as if they were 
good, but inThygood things as ihough they were 
iheir own ; or even as if in Thine, yet as though 
of their own merits ; or even as if though of 
Thy grace, yet not with friendly rejoicings, but 
as envying that grace to others.' In all these 
and similar perils and labours Thou perceivest 
the trembling of my heart, and I rather feel ray 
wounds to be cured by Thee than not inflicted 
by me. 



I the (-1./^. and LXX. The Anlbeiked 

i™" " i" ajconll K.vcs ihc noR nvb. 

''!L ' "Shleom u(l not 



d, ■nl^iiiiKouiV 



^kf CDd plcuiuv or hvlnaD gJoiy, 



jer* for the healios td 

ihenwhamkaSBh 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



i6l 



63. Where hast Thou not accompanied me, O 
Truth,' teaching me both what to avoid and 
what to desire, when I submitted to Thee what 
I could perceive of sublunary things, and asked 
Thy counsel? With my external senses, as I 
could, I viewed the world, and noted the life 
which my body derives from me, and these my 
senses. Thence I advanced inwardly into the 
recesics of my memory, — ^the manifold rooms, 
wondrously full of multitudinous wealth; and 
I considered and was afraid, and could discern 
none of these things without Thee, and found 
none of them to be Thee. Nor was 1 myself 
the discoverer of these things, — I, who went 
over them all, and laboured to distinguish and 
to value everything according to its dignity, 
accepting some things upon the report of my 
senses, and questioning about others which I 
felt to be mixed up with myself, distinguishing 
and numbering the reporters themselves, and in 
the vast storehouse of my memory investigating 
some things, laying up others, taking out others. 
Neither was I myself when I did this (that is, 
that ability of mine whereby I did it), nor was it 
Thou, for Thou art that never-failing light which 
I took counsel of as to them all, whether they 
were what they were, and what was their worth; 
and 1 heard Thee leaching and commanding 
me. And this I do often ; this is a delight to 
me, and, as far as 1 can get relief from neces- 
sary duties, to this gratification do I resort. 
Nor in all these which I review when consult- 
ing Thee, find I a secure place for my soul, 
save in Thee, into whom my scattered members 
may be gathered together, and nothing of me 
depart from Thee.' And sometimes Thou dost 
introduce me to a most rare affection, inwardly, 
to an inexplicable sweetness, which, if it should 
be perfected in me, I know not to what point that 
life might not arrive. But by these wretched 
weights of mine do I relapse into these things, 
and am sucked in by my old customs, and am 
held, and sorrow much, yet am much held. To 
such an extent does the burden of habit press 
us down. In this way I can be, but will not ; 
in that I will, but cannot, — on both ways miser- 
able. 



66. And thus have I reflected upon the wear- 
inesses of my sins, in that threefold "lust,"' 
and have invoked Thy right hand to my aid. 
For with a wounded heart have I seen Thy 



brightness, and being beaten back I exclaimed, 
" Who can attain unto it?" " I am cut off from 
l)efore Thine eyes."' Thou art the Tnith, who 
presidestoverail things, but I, through my covet- 
ousness, wished not lo lose Thee, but with Thee 
wished to possess a lie ; as no one wishes so to 
speak falsely as himself to be ignorant of the 
truth. So then I lost Thee, because Thou 
lieignest not to be enjoyed with a lie. 



67. Whom could I find to reconcile me lo 
Tliee? Was I to solicit the angels? By what 
prayer? By wlial sacraments ? Many striving 
to return unto Thee, and not able of them- 
selves, have, as 1 am told, tried this, and have 
fallen into a longing for curious visions,' and 
were held worthy to be deceived. For they, 
being exalted, sought Thee by the pride of 
learnmg, thrusting themselves forward rather 
than beating their breasts, and so by corre- 
spondence of heart drew unto themselves the 
princes of the air,' the conspirators and com- 
panions in pride, by whom, through the power 
of magic,' they were deceived, seeking a medi- 
ator by whom they might be cleansed ; but 
none was there. For the devil it was, trans- 
fnrmi;i [ r himself Jnto an angel of ligh t. And 
he mucn allured proud llesh, in that ne had no 
fleshly body. For they were mortal, and sin- 
ful; but Thou, O Lord, to whom they arro- 
gantly sought to be reconciled, art immortal, 
and sinless. But a mediator between God and 
man ought to have something like unto God, 
and something like unto man ; lest being in 
both like unto man, he should be far from 
God ; or if in both like unto God, he should 
be far from man, and so should not be a medi- 
ator. That deceitful mediator, then, by whom 
in Thy secret judgments pride deserved to be 
deceived, hath one thing in common with man, 
that is, sin ; another he would appear to have 
with God, and, not being clothed with mortal- 
ity of flesh, would boast that he was immortal.** 
But since " the wages of sin is death," " this hath 
he in common with men, that together with 
tiiem he should be condemned to death. 



.mU"r W^^EvSilB, ^n "i/" Lii" ; ' 



""'""S 



ChriHMamyittiyu 



'IIRwh.v 



'nT^' 



t'Ltu^d:^ 






THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Bo<sX. 



CHAP. XLIII. THAT JESUS CHRIST, AT THE SAME 

TIME GOD AND MAN, IS THE TRUE AND MOST 
EFFlCAaOUS MEDIATOR. 

68, But the true Mediator, whom in Thy 
secret mercy Thou hast pointed out to the 
humble, and didst send, that by His example' 
also they might learn the same humility — that 
"Mediator between God and men, the man 
Christ Jesus,"' appeared between mortal sin- 
ners and the immortal Just One — mortal with 
men, just with God ; that because the reward 
of righteousness is life and peace, He might, by 
righteousness conjoined with God, cancel the 
death of justified sinners, which He willed to 
have in common with them.' Hence He was 
jKjinted out to holy men of old ; to the intent 
that they, through faith in His Passion to come,* 
even as we through faith in that which is pa-st, 
might be saved. For as man He was Mediator ; 
Lut as the Word He was not between,' because 
equal to God, and God with God, and together 
■with the Holy Spirit* one CJod. 

69. How hast Thou loved us,' O good Father, 
who sparedst not Thine only Son, but deliver- 
edst Him up for us wicked ones ! ' How hast 



> Not lb>t our Lord u Ea be nrnpoud, u lainfl have hdd, to have 
been under the 1a« of dnth in Aaain. bcciuK " m AiUm all dle" 

;: ■' Ai there vu ooLhinf In u« fnjin which Jife could tprin^. to 
■there wv, DothLpaU) tiimmiDi which denth could come." He faij 
dmH Hl> life Oahii 1. iS), and u being pwuker at the divine 

liDa Auziutiii siKi in bit commenl on i^. fiixv. 5 (quoted la the 
sen teciton) i7(jhriil'> being " Snt unone the disd,*' So alio in 

K dehiED martl* Uber e^t monum." The true anaiog^ hetwcen the 
fir*t and lecand Adam !■ iurely then to be found in our Lord's be- 
iea Tne ream the law of death by reaion of Hit divine nuuce, and 

iBg'of the^Tret'ofuEchrlin ™|ii i> 1™, a child oflvdani, 

lMtacfaildorA<luBniinailouiiybarn. Sn note 1, p. 71, above. 

• See Dr 7>i«. iv. I ; Vod Trench, HwliBin Uclura (iB«), 

1: and MuiMl. Bam/tan Lxluri 






Thou loved us, for whom He, who thought it >' 
no robbery to be equal with Thee, "became 
obedient unto, death, even the death of the 
cross; "• He alone " free among the dead,"" 
that had power to lay down His life, and power 
to take it again ; " for us was He unto Tbee 
both Victor and Victim, and the Victor as be- 
ing the Victim ; for us was He unto Thee both 
Priest and Sacrifice, and Priest as being the 
Sacrifice; of slaves making us Thy sons, by be- 
ing born of Thee, and serving us. Rightly, 
then,-is my hope strongly fixed on Him, that 
Thou wilt heal all my diseases" by Him who 
sitteth at Thy right hand and maketh interces- 
sion for us ; " else should I utterly despair."* For 
numerous and great are my infirmities, yea, 
numerous and great arc they ; but Thy medi- 
cine is greater. We might think that Thy 
Word was removed from union with man, and 
despair of ourselves had He not been "made 
flesh and dwelt among us." " ^ 

70. Terrified by my sins and the load of my 
misery, I had resolved in my heart, and medi- 
tated flight into the wilderness ; " but Thou didat 
forbid fne, and didst strengthen me, saying, 
therefore, Christ "died for all, that they which 
hve should not henceforth live unto themselves, 
butunto Him which died for them."" Behold, 
O Lord, 1 cast my care upon Thee," that I may 
live, and " behold wondrous things out of Thy 
law."" Thou knowest my unskilfulness and 
my infirmities; teach me, and heaJ me. Thine 
only Son — He " in whom are hid all the treas- 
ures of wisdom and knowledge"" — hath re- 
deemed me with His blood. Let not the proud 
speak evil of me," because I consider my ran- 
som, and eat and drink, and distribute ; and 
poor, desire to be satisfied from Him, together 
with those who eat and are satisfied, and they 
praise the Lord that seek him." 

™iio^'^iSw"nDiur'^'o'"aiut'VinB''!i''r^™i !ot mll.tt 

• Phil. ii. 6, B. 

»P> iMHviii.;^ KiKC. 6S.noie, >ba>e. 






"Sh's; 



..jendetiiiiislove towards ui, in tliat, while we wereyettlnnen. 



Chriu died tor u> ' " {Ron. v. », <i). He linilarlv 
last tiuotad in his /% Trim. niil. tj. See also fiui . .. 
he speaVi of the wrath of God, and riidr iv. a. Compan A 
bishop Thomson, BumMs* LKturti.iea. vii., and nAieo;. 

• Rom.viii, 34.whlcii is not "for us wicked onet," bufTn 
■II," as the Authoriied Version haiil: and we must not nat 
the wordi. AutiuHin, in £d. V"^' ^''•1 
bered, when commenling on John ivii 



to (he Min 



•orld, : 



ivii. 31, " that they all may be 

. "'--■""-•7uc.™'r"i'psi 



*>Col. li. }. Compare Dean Mansel, fiMn//0iI /.A/Brfi.kct. *. 

« Ps, call, in. Old Vtr. He Riav cerhap^ here allude to the 

ity of discipline, ditparaved both his life and doctHne, poiitfiBf o 
bis ManichEanism and the linfulness of life before baptism. Inhis 

■> Ps. xxil. aC. Augusiin probably alludes here to the Lonfl 
Supper, in accordance with the general Patristic interpretulca. 



BOOK XI. 



THE DESIGN OF HIS CONFESSIONS BEING DECLARED, HE SEEKS FROM GOD THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE 
HOLY SCRIFFURES, AND BEGINS TO EXPOUND THE WORDS OF GENESIS I. I, CONCERNING THE CREA- 
TION OF THE WORLD. THE QUESTIONS OF RASH DISPUTERS BEING REFUTED, "WHAT DID GOD 
BEFORE HE CREATED THE WORLD?" THAT HE MIGHT THE BETTER OVERCOME HIS OPPONENTS, HE 
ADDS A COPIOUS DISQUISITION CONCERNING TIME. 



CHAP. I. — BY CONFESSION HE DESIRES TO STIMU- 
LATE TOWARDS GOD HIS OWN LOVE AND THAT 
OF HIS READERS. 

I. O Lord, since eternity is Thine, art Thou 



ignorant of the things which I say unt o^ Thee? 

t)T S^esi inou at t h<^ fiMA fh^rwhirVi rr>'m^>i 

to pass in time ? Why, therefore, do I place 
ore Tnee so many relations of things? Not 
surely that Thou mightest know them through 
me, but that I may awaken my own love and 
V, that of my readers towards Thee, that we may 
all say, ** Great is the Lord, and greatly to be 
praised."* I have already said, and shall say, 
for the love of Thy love do I this. For we 
also pray, and yet Truth says, *' YoUr Father 
knoweth what things ye have need of before ye 
ask Him."' Therefore do we make known 
unto Thee our love, in confessing unto Thee 
our own miseries and Thy mercies upon us, 
tharThou mayest free us altogether, since Thou 
hast begun, that we may cease to be wretched 
in ourselves, and that we may be blessed in 
Thee ; since Thou hast called us, that we may 
be poor in spirit, and meek, and mourners, and 
hungering and athirst after righteousness, and 
merciful, and pure in heart, and peacemakers.' 
Behold, I have told unto Thee many things, 
which I could and which I would, for Thou first 
wouldest that I should confess unto Thee, the 
Lord my God, for Thou art good, since Thy 
'* mercy endureth for ever."* 

CHAP. II HE BEGS OF GOD THAT THROUGH THE 

HOLY SCRIPTURES HE MAY BE LED TO TRUTH. 

2. But when shall I suffice with the tongue 
of my pen to express all Thy exhortations, and 
all Thy terrors, and comforts, and guidances, 
whereby Thou hast led me to preach Thy Word 



* Ps. xcvi. 4. See note 3, page 45, above. 

* Matt. vi. 8. 

* Matt. V. yg. 

* Pt. cxviiu X. 



and to dispense Thy Sacrament* unto Thy peo- 
ple ? And if I suffice to utter these things in 
order, the drops' of time are dear.to me. Long 
time have I burned to meditate in Thy law, and 
in it to confess to Thee my knowledge and igno- 
rance, the beginning of Thine enlightening, 
and the remains of my darkness, until infirm- 
ity be swallowed up by strength. And I would 
not that to aught else those hours should flow 
away, which I find free from the necessities of 
refreshing my body, and the care of my mind, 
and of the service which we owe to men, and 
which, though we owe not, even yet we pay.' 

3. O Lord my God, hear my prayer, and let 
Thy mercy regard my longing, since it bums 
not for myself alone, but because it desires to 
benefit brotherly charity ; and Thou seest into 
my heart, that so it is. I would sacrifice to 
Thee the service of my thought and tongue; 
and do Thou give what I may offer unto Thee. 
For ** I am poor and needy,"' Thou rich unto 
all that call upon Thee,' who free from care 
carest for us. Circumcise from all rashness and 



A He very touchingly alludes in Serm. ccclv. 3 to the way in which 
he was forced against his will (as was frequently the custom in those 
days), first, to Mcome a presbyter (a.d. wi), and, four years later, 
coadjutor to Valerius, Bishop of Hippo Q^^. xxxi. 4, ana E/. ccxiii. 
4), whom on his death he succeeded. His own wish was to estab- 
lish a monastery, and to this end. he sold his patrimony, " which 
consisted of only a few small fields " {E^. cxxvi. 7). He absolutely 
dreaded to become a bishop, and as ne knew his name was highly 
esteemed in the Church, he avoided cities in which the see was 
vacant. His former backsliding had made him humble .- and he telb 
us in the sermon above referred to, " Cavebam hoc, et agebam quan- 
tam poteram, ut in loco huroili salvarer ne in alto periclitarer y 
Auziutin also alludes to his ordination in Ep. xxi., addressed to 
Bishop Valerius. 

* " He alludes to the hour-glasses of his time, which went by 
water, as ours do now by sand." — W. W. 

7 Augustin, in common with other bishops, had his time much 
invaded by those who sought his arbitration or judicial decision in 
secular matters, and in his De O^. Afonach. sec. 37, he says, what 
many who have much mental toil will readily ai>preciate, tnat he 
would rather have spent the time not occupied in prayer and the 
study of the Scriptures in working with his hands, as did the monks, 
than have to bear these tumultuMittimax ^rplexitates. In the 
year ^26 we find him {Ep. ccxiii.) designatmg Eraclius, in public 
assemDl3|r as his successor in the see, and to relieve him (thoueh, 
meanwhile, remaining a presbyter) of these anxious duties. See 
vi. sec. 15, and note x, above; and also ibid. sec. 3. 

* Ps. Ixxxvi. z. 

* Rom. x. za. 

163 



1 64 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XL* 



from all lying my inward and outward lips.' 
Let Thy Scriptures be my chaste dehjjius. 
Neither let me be deceived in them, nor df- 
ceive out of them.' Lord, hear and pity, O 
Lord my God, light of the blind, and strengih 
of the weak; even also light of those that .-,(.■(.■, 
and strength of the strong, hearken unto my 
soul, and hear it crying " out of the depths."^ 
For unless Thine ears be present in the depths 
also, whither shall we go ? whither shall we cry ? 
" The day is Thine, and the night also is Thine. ' ' ' 
At Thy nod the moments flee by. Grant thereof 
space for our meditations amongst the hidden 
things of Thy law, nor close it against us wlio 
knock. For not in vain hast I'hou willed that 
the obscure secret of so many pages should be 
written. Nor is it that those forests liavc nut 
their harts,' betaking themselves therein, ami 
ranging, and walking, and feeding, lying down. 
and ruminating. Perfect me, O Lord, and re\ L-al 
them unto me. Behold, Thy voice is my j<iy, 
Thy voice surpasseth the abundance of pleasnrc^i. 
Give that which 1 love, for I do love ; and tliis 
hast Thou given. Abandon not Thine (.mn 
gifts, nor despise Thy grass that thirsteth. l^'t 
me confess unto Thee whatsoever [ shall have 
found in Thy books, and let me hear the voice 
of praise, and let me imbibe Thee, and reflei t 
on the wonderful things of Thy law ; * even from 
the beginning, wherein Thou madest the heaveii 
and the earth, unto the everlasting kingdom of 
Thy holy city that is with Thee. 



uulhi oT {ai 
oT Scrip 



imoog the ihiBK," ht >Iy. IDt Oxtr!^l^,l. a. nU^^ilti 
iDJ^ laid down m Scripture, are » bg round all malun Ihai con- 
Mr of lite." A> (o Ac Scripuirei llut nre 
mine to concliuioiu, lest he should " be 
cave uiU of them/' In hU /^ Grn, jii 



— whether the soul on (lepjrtinK Trom Ihe body haA not «till u hinlv 
oT tome kiixd, 4nd at leul lume of the Kniex proper to a bodt' :j u-'i 
iilia(^.cliiY.)hisendeaviiiin(um>ran:l EvodiuV difficulties n. t.. 

lariy.he ujri.u lu the Antichriit of i Then, ii. i-'i (ZV Cii. y^/, 
H. 19): "I ftvOlly confess 1 kncm not what he mean. I will, 

Scv notei, pp. 6« and ^i, above. 

< p«; u^'. ',6. 

* Fi. mix. 9. In hb camnHiU on thii place ai given in the Old 

vilh Ua thick datkneu lu tvnbellte Ihe nysieries of Scripti^ri:, 
while the huB ruminailn^ ibeteon nprcieni the udus Chtl.ruii 

tame paitUKe he tpeaki of thow who are Ihui beini; periectcd ss 

power the uajp had of enlicinit lerpenu from Iheir hulei by iheir 
breuh, and then de»itoylnjj them. Aiuniitin 'a very fond of (hii 
kind of faMefron natural liiitury. Inliii Emarr.im 7k. ciala. 



4. Lord, have mercy on me and hear my 
desire. For I think that it is not of the eanh, 
nor of gold and silver, and precious stones, nor 
gorgeous apparel, nor honours and powers, nor 
the pleasures of the flesh, nor necessaries for the 
body, and this life of our pilgrimage ; all which 
are added to those that seek Thy kingdom and 
Thy righteousness.' Behold, O Lord my God, 
whence is my desire. The unrighteous have told 
me of deliglits, but not such as Thy law, O 
Lord.' Behold whence is my desire. Behold, 
Father, look and see, and approve ; and let it 
be pleasing in the sight of Thy mercy, that I 
may find grace before Thee, that the secret 
things of Thy Word may be opened unto me 
when I knock.' I beseech, by our Lord Jesus 
Christ, Thy Son, " the Man of Thy right hand, 
the Son of man, whom Thou madest strong for 
Thyself," " as Thy Mediator and ours, through 
whom Thou hast sought us, although not seek- 
ing Thee, but didst seek us that we might seek 
Thee, ' ' — Thy Word through wh^m Thnn ti afl^ 
made all things ." and amongst them me also,— 
Thy Only -begot ten, through whom Thou hast 
called to adoption the believing people, and 
therein me also. I beseech Thee through Him, 
who sitteth at Thy right hand, and " maketh 
intercession for us,"" "in whom are hid all 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge."" Him" 
do I seek in Thy books. Of Him did Moses 
write ; " this saith Himself; this saith the Truth. 



CHAP. III. HE BEGINS FROM THE C 

THE WORLD NOT UNDERSTANDING THE HE- 
BREW TEXT. 



^eretand_ ho w in the 
he aven and the 



e have the »dl-kn 



"faKi'wMvei^ 



D die fiuppDied ha 



t;. Let me hear and 

beginning Thou didst make thehea 

eaith7""M(Kes wrote "tins ;~Ke' wrote and de- 
parte(I7 — passed hence from Thee to Thee. Nor 
now is he before me ; for if he were I would 
hold him, and ask him, and would adjure him 
by Thee that he would open unto me these 
things, and I would lend the ears of my body 
to the sounds bursting forth from his mouth. 
And should he speak in the Hebrew tongue, in 
vain would it beat on my senses, nor would 
aught touch ray mind ; but if in Latin, I should 
know what he said. But whence shoul d I know 
whether he said what was true? But if I knew 
I, should 1 know it from him? Verily 
;, within in thecharaber of my thought, 



this 
within 






Chap. VL] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



■ 165 



Troth, n either Hebrew,' nor Greek, n or Lati n 

nor barbanan, without t he_M;^ii5 .of voice and 

- t ongue, wi thou t the sound o£ syllables, "would 

aks the truth," and I, forthi"^' 



:, confidently would say 
man of Thine, "Thou speakest the truth." 
As, then, I cannot inquire of him, I beseech 
Thee,— Thee, O Truth, full of whom he spakt 
truth, — Thee, my God, I beseech, forgive m) 
sins; and do Thou, who didst give to that Thy 
servant to speak these things, grant to me also 
to understand them. 



6. Beh old, the h eaven and earth are; they 
proclaim that_ they. wjp;;e maH^e, for they are 
changed an3 varied. Whereas whatsoever hath 
nof been made, and yet hath being, hath noth- 
ifig^liTit whirh "there wa.s not l^fnrt^ ; this is what 
) it is to be changed and varied. They also pro- 
iclaim that they made not themselves; "there- 
( fore we are, because we have been made ; we 
Iwere not therefore before we were, so that we 
fcould have made ourselves." And the voice of 
those that speak is in itself an evidence. Thou, 
therefore, Lord, didst make these things; Thou 
who art beautiful, for they are beautiful ; Thou 
who art good, for they are good ; Thou who art, 
for they are. Nor even so are they beautiful, 
nor good, nor are they, as Thou their Creator art ; 
compared with whom they are neither beautiful, 
nor good, nor are at all.* These things we 
know, thanks be to Thee. And our knowledge, 
compared with Thy knowledge, is ignorance. 



7. T^"' h?" dirist Thtiii maltp the heaven and 
the earth, and what was the .instrumcnt_pf'Tliy 
so might j-'wOrTtT " For it was not as a human 
worker fashioning body from body, according 



1 Auguflin was nt^ lingular sunwipt the early Fathen in not 
ksowlDK Hebrew, rurafilH: Oncks unlyUHgcn, and of ihc Latint 
JczYjiae, liDew anyfhiiig of it. W> find l^jm conleuing his ignnrance 
both hsrc and abcwliere \£narr. im Ps, cxxuvi. 1, and Dt Doetr- 
CkHil. H. 11) ; and chough he reconmciKli a linowledge of Hebrew 
■awdl u Greek, (ocorrcct" the endint diTenity oT Ihe Lalin Irans- 
laura" {,Dt DmIt. C*riil. ii, 16); he tpcaks u uroogly u dos 
Grinlield, in hi> AM^/^ thi Srfhuipnl. in favour of the claimi 
of Ihal venlon 10 *' biblical and canonical authority " (£/i. ixviii . 
luL, and Imv. ; Di Cn. ^n. iviii. 41, 41: lir Dxtr. Oiriil.W. 
JJ). He discountenanced Jerome-, new IraMlalion, probably from 

jcrome'i Tenion beiog read, Uie outcry would appear 10 have been 
afgreH at nrhen, on the change of (he old style e^ reckoning toibe 
new, ibe ignorant mob davDured lo have back ihetr eleven days ! 

I It wat the doctrine of Arisioile that eicellencc of character i> 
the pmper object of love, and In piopartlon aa we recognise such 
cicellence in othen are *e attracted to become like them (tee Sdg- 
wick'tM>C*M!>^£ltn. bookiv. c. s^ec. 4I. If this be true of 

Conipm Dt Trin. viii. 1-6, Dt Vrra Rtlig. 57 and an extract 
from AthincK Coquerel bi Aiclibitbop Thomson > Samflax Lte- 



to the fancy of his mind, in somewise able to \ 
assign a form which it perceives in itself by its 1. 
inner eye.' And whence should he be able to 
do this, hadsi not Thou made that mind ? And 
he assigns to it already existing, and as it were 
having a being, a form, as clay, or stone, or 
wood, or gold, or such like. And whence should 
these things be, hadst not Thou appointed Ihem? 
Thou didSt make for the workman his body, — 
'tji^u the mind commanding the limbs, — Thou ^^-^ 
1 h e matter whi-rfnf h" miTtfi iinyi'^ingi* — Th ou 
tfiF ... ......_. 

m 



e capac ity whereby he may apprehend his arF, 
I j see wlthlp "^at fie ip4j' . do. wTthou|,— Thou 



the sense of his body, by which, asTy"an inter- 
preter, he may from mind unto matter convey 
that which he doeth, and rifport to his mjnd 
H'hat may have been done, that it within may 
consult the truth, presiding over itself, whether 
it be well done. All these things praise Thee, 
the Creator of all. But how dost Thou make 
them ? How. O God, didst Thou make heaven 
and earth? Tnily. neither in the heaven nor) ' 
in the earth didat.Hiou mal-p li(;jiLven and earth ; 



. in the waters, since theseaKo 1 [J"'" 

belong to the heaven and the earth ; nor in the ■■' ■ 
whole world didst Thou' make the whole world ; 
because there was no place wherein it could be 
made before it was made, that it might be; nor 
didst Thou hold anything in Thy hand where- 
with to make heaven and earth, for whenc e 
couldest Tbou_haye what Thou hadstBoTSiaJe, 
^vHiTro or lo majie _anj-thing ? For what is, save ,. 
brt.iu-« thou art ?' Therefore thou didst speaSfl 
ammiey"wt.Te made,' and_in J"ljy . Word ThouH 
mad.m thesfi . things.? 



S. But how didst Thou s^ieakj " Was it in 
that manner in wliich the voice came Yrom the 
i- loud, saying, "This js my beloved Son"?' 
For tliat _voiceJS3s_lUlere£l and_passed away, 
began and ended. The sjiUahles_aoiui3ed and 
pas.sed by, the second after the first, the third 
after the second, and thence in order, until the 
last after the rest, and silence afier the last. 
Hence it is clear and plain that the motion, of a 
creature expressed _i_t. itself temporal, obeying 
thy Eternal will. Ana tliese thy words formed 
at the time, the outer ear conveyed to the intel- 



• That is. the artificer inakeii. God'createa. The cmtion of mJ 
T it diitlnctively a doctrine of ttvelailon. The ancient phllo' 

L): ".Vullam remenlhllogignldlvinllusunquain.'' S^ Burti 
. amftutt fjclura, lect. ul. and noces tB-ii, and MmmI, Bam/I 
Lt'tturra, lect. iii. note ti. Sec aUo p. 76, note S, above, for t 
Manichaian doctrine as In the iki) ; anil T^li Umrtn ttntrir, Dr 



1 66 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[ItooK XL 



Itgent mind, whose in ner ear Uy attentive to 
Thj_jterBaljyord. But it comparedi these words 
sounding in time with Thy eternal word In 
silence, and said, " It is different, very different. 
These words are far beneath me, nor are they, 
since they flee and pass away ; but the Word of 
my Lord remaineth above me for ever. ' ' li^\ 
then, in sounding and fleeting words Thou 
^ids t say that Beaven and earth should be piade, 
"and ""didst thus' make heaven and earth, there 
was already a jcQrporeal creature before hea,ven 
and eartR oiy whose temporal motioas that voice 
might take- its course in time. But there was 
nothing corporeal before heaven and earth ; or 
if there were, certainly Thou without a transi- 
tory voice hadst created that whence Thou 
wouldest make the passing voice, by which to 
say that the heaven and the earth should be 
made. For whatsoever that were of which such 
a voice was made, unless it were made by Thee, 
it could not be at all. By what w x)rd of Thine 
Ytas_it_jiecxetd that a body might be made, 
whereby these words might be made ? 

CHAP. VII. — BY HIS CO-ETERNAL WORD HE 
SPEAKS, AND ALL THINGS ARE DONE. 

9. Thou callest us, therefore, to understand 
the Word, God with Thee, God,* which is 
spoken eternally, and by it are all things spoken 
eternally. For what was spoken was not fin- 
ished, and another spoken until all were spoken ; 
but all things^t once and for ever. For oth er- 
j wise liaye yfe Time and change^and nQt a txue 

Jternity, nor^q, J,nie immortality. This I know, 
■^ my God, and give thanks. I know, I con- 
fess to Thee, O Lord, and whosoever is not 
unthankful to certain truth, knows and blesses 
Thee with me. We know, O Lord, we know ; 
since in proportion as anything is not what it 
was, and is what it was not, in that proportion 
does it die and arise. Not anything, therefore, 
of Thy Word giveth pfaceand" cometh into 
place again^ because it is tnily immortal and 
eternal. And, therefore, unto the Word co- 
eternal with Thee, Thou dost at once and for 
ever say all that Thou dost say ; and whatever 
1 hou sayest shall be made, is made ; nor dost 
Thou make otherwise than by speaking; yet 
all things are not made both together and ever- 
lasting which Thou makest by speaking 

CHAP. VIII. — THAT WORD ITSELF IS THE BEGIN- 
NING OF ALL THINGS, IN THE WHICH WE ARE 
INSTRUCTED AS TO EVANGELICAL TRUTH. 

10. \yhy is this, I beseech Thee, O Lord my 
God ? I see it, however ; but "Row I shall express 
It, T'know not, unle^ that everything which be- 
gins to be and ceases ip be, then begins and 



1 John i. z. 



ceases when in Thy eternal Reason it is known 



that 1 



m 



To Degin or cease w here nothing 

beginneth or ceasetn. ITie same is Thy Word, 
which is also "the Beginning,'* because also It 
speaketh unto us.* Thus, in the gospel He 
speaketh through the flesh; and this sounded 
outwardly in the ears of men, that it might be 
believed and sought inwardly, and that it might 
be found in the eternal Truth, where the good 
and only Master teacheth all His disciples. There, 

Lord, I hear Thy voice, the voice of one speak- 
ing unto me, since He speaketh unto us who 
teacheth us. But He that teach th us not, 
although He sf)eaketh, speaketh not to us. 
Moreover, who teacheth us, unless it be the im- 
mutable Truth ? For even when we are admon- 
ished through a cHaiigeable creature, we'areTed 
to "the Truth immutable. There we learn truly 
while we stand" an d^hear Him, and rejoice 
greatly ** because of the Bridegroom's voice,'" 
restoring us to that whence we are. And, there - 
fore , the Beginni ng, because unl ess I t remeun eS, 
ther e'wb'uld hot,"wTiere we strayeET,*" l)e wffitKer 
to return. Buf when we return from error, it is 
by khowTng that we return. But that we may 
know. He teacheth us, because He is the Begin- 
ning and speaketh unto us. 

CHAP. IX. — WISDOM AND THE BEGINNING. 

II. In this Beginning, O God, hast Thou 
made heaven and earth, — in Thy Word, in Thy 
Son, in Thy Power, in Thy Wisdom, in Thy 
Truth, wondrously si)eaking and wondrouslyl 
making. Who shall comprehend? who shall 
relate it? What is that which shines through 
me, and strikes my heart without injury, and I 
both shudder and burn ? I shudder inasmuch as 

1 am unlike it ; and 1 burn inasmuch as I am 
like it. It is Wisdom itself that shines through 
me, clearing my cloudiness, which again over- 
whelms me, fainting from it, in the darkness and . 
amount of my punishment. For my strength is 
brought down in need,* so that I cannot endure 
my blessings, until Thou, O Lord, who hast • 

» John viii. 25, O/if V^r. Though some would read, Oui et 
loquitur, making it correspond to the Vulgate, instead of Qmtiet 
loquitur, as al>ove^ the latter is doubtle<is the correct reading, since 
we find the text similarly quoted In Rv. Jok. Tract, xxxviii. 11, 
where he enlarges on "The Beginning," comparing /riMfj^nMff 
with ap\y\. It will assist to the understanding of this section to refer 
to the early partof the note on p. 107, above, where the Platonic 
view of the Logos, as cKJiaScroc and irp<M^opiK<(f . or in the " bosooi 
of the Father' and " made flesh," is given ; which terminology, m 
Dr. Newman telLs wf>{Arians, pt. i. c. 2, sec. 4), was accejned bjr 
the Church. Augustin. consistently with this idea, says (on John 
viii. 25, as above) : " For if the Beginning, as it is in itself, had re- 
mained so with the Father as not to receive the form of a servant 
and speak as man with men, how could they have believed In Him, 
since their weak hearts could not have heard the word intelligently 
without some voice that would appeal to their .senses ? Therefore, said 
He, believe me to be the Beginning ; for that you may believe, I 
not only am, but also speak to you." Newman, as quoted abore, 
may be referred to for tne significance of apxf? as applied to the Son, 
ana ibid. sec. 3, also, on the " Word." For the dinerence betw e cB 
a mere " voice" and (he " W^ortl," compare Aug. Senn. ccxdlL 
sec.^, and Origen,/« yaaww. ii. 36. 

» John iii. 29. 

*Ps 



XXXI. 10. 



k 



Chap. XIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



167 



been gracious to all mine iniquities, heal also all 
mine infirmities ; because Thou shalt also re- 
deem my life from corruption, and crown me 
with Thy loving-kindness and mercy, and shalt 
satisfy my desire with good things, because my 
youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.* For 
by hope we are saved ; and through patience 
we await Thy promises.* Let him that is able 
hear Thee discoursing within. I will with confi- 
dence cry out from Thy oracle, How wonderful 
are Thy works, O Lord, in Wisdom hast Thou 
made them all.* And this Wisdom is the Begin- 
ning, and in that Beginning hast Thou made 
heaven and earth. 

CHAP. X. — THE RASHNESS OF THOSE WHO INQUIRE 
WHAT GOD DH) BEFORE HE CREATED HEAVEN 
AND EARTH. . 

12. Ln^ afp f hev not full of their ancient way, 
who say to us , ** What was God doi ng befo re 
He made heaveiTa nd eartH ? Fo r If/'^ say they , 
^' tie were unoccup ied, and^clid nothmg, why 
does He not for e ver^also, arid from Kencefortn, 
cease from worklhg,*as m times past He did ? 
For if any new motion has arisen i n God, and a 
new will, to form a cre ature wh ich He had never 
before formed ^ however cim th al^_be a true 
eternity where there ariseth a will which was 
not' before 7 rorth e^will of God is not a creat- 
i lf^, T3 Ur' Before the creature j; because_ngitRing 
could be Treated unless tlTe will of the Creator 
were^^ SeJfore Jt. The will of G od « th ereiore, 
pertainetF i to'Tiis'vefy ^uT)Vtance. But if an v- 



thing hath" a risen in, the Substance of God 
whlcn was not before,_jthaf SuEsta nc^ is ^ yt 



truly called eter nal. But if it was the eternal 
will o^ God'tliat the creature should be, why 
was not the creature also from eternity ? 



M 



CHAP. XI. ^THEY WHO ASK THIS HAVE NOT AS VET 

KNOWN THE ETERNITY OF GOD, WHICH IS 
EXEMPT FROM THE RELATION OF TIME. . 

13. Those who say these things do not as yet 
understand Thee, O Thou Wisdom of God, 
Thou light of souls ; not as yet do they under- 
stand how these things be made which are made 
by and in Thee. The y even e ndeavour to com- 
prehend things ete rnal ; but as yet their heart 
nieth aljout irTtlie past ancl" future motions of 
thin^^ andlis stiH wavering. Who shall hold it 
and fix it, that it may rest a little, and by degrees 
catch the glory of that ever-standing eternity, 
and compare it with the times which never stand, 
and see that it is incomparable ; SLii^^aXji long I 
time cannot beco me long, save from the many 
motions that pass by, which cannot at the same 



' P«. ciiL 3-5. 

* Rom viit. 94, as. 

• P%. civ. 84. 



instant be prolonged ; but- that In the Eternal t 
nothing~7BtS9eth. .away^ but that the whole is i 
pr@ee»t; but no time-^-Js- wholly -iargsen t j^ and I 
iet^ him see that all tinieD^ is forced on by 
the"futu?«rand that all £EejGiiture foiloweth from 
tjie pnfiti andjhat all, both past, and futuiCt-is. 
created and issues from that which is always 
present?] Who will hold the heart of man, that 
it may stand still, and see how the still-standing 
eternity, itself neither future nor past, uttereth 
the times future and past ? Can my hand accom- 
plish this, or the hand of my mouth by persua- 
sion bring about a thing so great ? * 

CHAP. XII.— WHAT GOD DID BEFORE THE CREA- 
TION OF THE WORLD. 

14. Behold, I answer to him who asks,. 
** What was God doing before He made heaven 
and earth? '* 1 answer not, as a certain person 
is reported to have done facetiously (avoiding 
the pressure of the question), ** He was prepar- 
ing hell,** saith he, ** for those who pry into 
mysteries. * * It is one thing to perceive, another 
to laugh, — these things I answer not. For more 
willingly would I have answered, ** I know not 
what 1 know not,** than that I should make him 
a laughing-stock who asketh deep things, and 
gain praise as one who answereth false things. 
B ut I say that Thou, our God, art the Creator 
oTevery creature J TrTd'TT Vy the^terffi'^^'neav'' 
an3^ earth" every" creature.. is. UJftdp.i:5tQQi, . 
bojdly say, " That before God made h eaven an 
earth. He made not anything. P'or If He 313*, 
what did He make unless the creature ? ' * And 
would that I knew whatever I desire to know to 
my advantage, as I know that no creature was 
made before any creature was made. 



CHAP. XIII. — BEFORE THE TIMES CREATED BY GOD, 

TIMES WERE NOT. 

15. But if the roving thought of any one 
should wander through the images of bygone 
time, and wonder that Thou, the God Almighty, 
and All-creating, and All-sustaining, the Archi- 
tect of heaven and earth, didst for innumerable 
ages refrain from so great a work before Thou 
wouldst make it, let him awake and consider j 
that he wonders at false things. For whence j 
could innumerable ages pass by which Thou, 
didst not make, since T hou art the ^^nt^f^y ^nd 
Creator of all acres ? O rwh at tfmes should those 
bp whTrTl 'viTPre" pQt made by Thee? Or how 
should they pass by If they had not been ? Since, 
therefore. Thou art the Creator of all times, if 
any time was before Thou madest heaven and 
earth, why is it said that Thou didst refrain from 
worki ng ? EgxJthat verytime Thou madest , jnpr 
could times pass by before Thou rnadest tunes. 

* See note 12, p. 174, below. 



^ 




1 68 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XL 



1 But if before he aven and earth there was no time. 
I why is it asked, What didst Thou then ? For 
Lttcre was no " then " when time was not. 
i6. Nor dost Thou by time precede" time ; 
else wouldest not Thou precede a!T times. But 
Th tHe excellency' of^an ever-presenf "elemity, 
Thou precedest all times past, and survives! all 
future times, because they are future, and when 
.they have come they will be pa.st ; but " Thou 
art the same, and Thy years hhall have no 
end." ' Thy years neither go nor come ; but 
ours both go and come, that all may come. All 
Thy years stand at once since they do stand ; ^ 
nor were they when departing excluded by | 
coming years, because they pass not away ; but | 
all these of ours shall be when all shall cease to 
be. Thy years are one day, and Thy day is not 
daily, but to-day ; because Thy to-day yields 
not with to-morrow, for neither doth it follow 
yesterday. Thy to-day is eternity ; therefore 
didst Thou beget the Co-eternal, to whom 
Thou saidst, " This day have 1 begotten Thee."' 
Thou hast made all time ; and before all times 
Thou art, nor in any time was there not time. 



17. At.jio time, therefore, hadat Thou not 
made anything, because Thou hadst made time 
itself. And no times are co-eternal with Thee, 
Iwcanse IhCli remamesl for "ever ; "T>ut should 
these'continue, they would not be times. .For 
y^t i" tj™^^ ^^''° '^^'^ easily and briefly ex- 
lliaini['?"^hoeven in thought can comprehend 
I it, even to the pronouncing of a word concern- 
ing it ? But what in speaking do we refer to 
>, more familiarly and knowingly than time? And 
I certainly we understand when we speak of it ; 
1 we understand also when we hear it spoken of 
I by another. What, then, is time? If no one 
I ask of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him 
who asks, 1 know not. Yet 1 Kjy with confi- 
dence, that I know that if nothing pa.ssed away, 
there would not be past time ; and if nothing 
were coming, there would not be future time ; 
and if nothing were, there would not be present 
time. Thosetwotimes, therefore, past and future, 
how arc"tl«;j'7 *'^d even the past now is not,, 
and the future is not as yet ? Hut should the 
present be always present, and should it not pass 
into time past, time truly it could not be, but 
\ eternity. If, then, time present — if it be time 
■ — only comes into existence because it jMLSses 
. into time past, how do we say that even this is, 
jjwhose cause of being is that it shall not be — 
]; namely, so that we cannot truly say that time is, 
( 'unless because it tends not to be? 



CHAP. XV. — THERE IS ONI.VAMOMENT OF PRESENT 
TIME. 

18. An(^ vet we say 'h=" " 'Jm/. i-i Innp ath^ 
time is sh ort:" nor do we ^peak of ^^^i^ save of 
time past and future. A long time past, for 
example, we call a hundred years ago; in like 
manner a long time to come, a hundred years 
lience. But a short time past we call, say, ten 
days ago : and a short time to come, ten days 
lience. BuUlt u:hU.J£ni£.HUll%LJtUl&.QL^UU^ 
ivhich is.QPt? For the pas t is notnow^and the 
f uture is not yet. 'Ihercro're'let us not say, " It 
Ts long;"" 13uT 'let us say of the i>ast, "It hath 
iwjen long," and of the future, " It will belong." 
my Lord, my light, shall not even here Thy 
truth deride man ? For that pa.st time_which wag. 
long, was it long when IrwasftlTea dy [^t. or >y tl™ 
It was a.s yet present? FoTlhen it might belong 
when there was that which could be long, but 
when past it no longer was ; wherefore that couW 
not be long which was not at all. Let us not, 
therefore, say, " Time past hath been long;"_ 
For we sliall not find what may have been long, ^■, 
seeing that since it was iiastit is not : but let us. -tli 
say " that jiresent time was long, because when *n 
it was present it was long." For it'Tiad not as li 
yet passed away so as liot to be, and therefore i^ 
there was that which could be long. But after 

it pas.sed, that ceased also to be long which 
ceased to be. 

19. Let^ us therefore see, O human soul,| 
ivhethcF'prese'nt time can be long j_ for to thee h\ 
It giC'Jti to i)erreive and to measure iwriodsofl 
time. What wilt thou reply to me? Is a bun- [ 
dred years when present a long time? See, first, j 
whether a hundR'd years can bepresenr. lior j 
rmTe"E"fst year of these is current, that is present, | 
bat the other ninety and nine are future, and \ 
therefore they are not as yet. But if the second j 
year is current, one is already past, the other 
present, the rest future. And thus, if we fix on I 
any middle year of this hundred as present, 1 
those bcfou: it are past, those after it are future; | 
wherefore a himdred years cannot be present. ' 
See at least whether that year itself which is I 
current can l>e present. For if its first month ' 
be current, the rest are future ; if the second, | 
the first hath already passed, and the remainder 1 
are not yet. Therefore neither in the year j 
ivhich is current as a whole present ; and if it is I 
not present as a whole, then the year is not I 
present. For twelve months make the year, of 
ft-hich each individual month which is current 

is itself present, but the rest are either past or 
future. Although neither is that month which 
is current present, but one day only ; if tKe first, 
the rest being to come, if the last, the restbeTng 
past ; if any of the middle, then between past ( 
and future. 1 

20. Behold, the present time, which alone we I 



.-*\ 



\rw/ 






Chap. XVIII.] 






THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



169 



'/ound could be called long, is abridged to the 
space scarcely of one day. But let us discuss 
Wen that, for there is not one day present as a 
/whole. For it is made up of four-and-twenty 
I hours of night and day, whereof the first hath 
! the rest future, the last hath them past, but any 
lone of the intervening hath those before it past, 
jthose after it future. And that one hour passeth 
Lway in fleeting particles. Whatever of it hath 
lown away is past, whatever remaineth is future, 
[f airy pQClion of. time be conceived which can- 
lot now be divided into even the. minutest par 
:icl^ sf .l»oment§,.ihi? oj]iiy is that .whiiji,i»ay 
. jie jca}Jp4^.pie§e»t.; which, however, flies so 
\rapJ3ily from future to past, that it cannot be ex- 
fended by any delay. For if it be extended, it 
divided into the past and future ; but the 
present hath no space. Where, therefore, is the 
.time which we may call long ? Is it mture ? In- 
jdeed we do not say, '* It is long," because it is 
(not yet, so as to be long ; but we say, ** It will 
jbe long." When, then, will it be ? For if even 
/then, since as yet it is future, it will not belong, 
j because what may be long is not as yet ; but it 
I shall be long, when from the future, which as 
\yet is not, it shall already have begun to be, 
and will have become present, so that there 
(could be that which may be long ; then doth the 
Ipresent time cry out in the words above that it 
fcannot be long. 

CHAP. XVI. — ^TIME CAN ONLY BE PERCEIVED OR 
MEASURED WHILE IT IS PASSING. 

21. And yet, O Lord, we per.gi?iyfi.untQj:y3;ls 
of times, and we conipare them with themselves, 
ana we say some are longer, others shorter. We 
even measure by how much shorter or longer this 
time may be than that ; and we answer, " That 
this is double or treble, while that is but once, 
or only as much as that. * ' But we measure 
times i>assing when we measure them by perceiv- 
ing them ; but past times, which now are not, 
or future times, which as yet are not, who can 
measure them ? Unless, perchance, any one will 
dare to say, that that can be measured which is 
not. When, therefore, time is passing, it can 
be perceived and measured ; but when it has 
passed, it cannot, since it is not. 

CHAP. XVII. — NEVERTHELESS THERE IS TIME PAST 

AND FUTURE. 

22. I ask, Father, I do not affirm. O my 
God, rule and guide me. '* Who is there wJlQ 

_can s av to me that^t herc are not tRr^ times (as 
wnen boys, and as we have taught 
boys), tbe past, present, and futiurp, but only 
present, because these two are not ? Or are they 
also ; but when from future it becometh present, 
x:ometh it forth from some secret place, and 
when from the present it becometh past, doth it 



retire into anything secret? For where have 
they, who have foretold future things, seen these 
things, if as yet they are not ? For that which is 
not cannot be seen. And they who relate things 
past could not relate them as tnie, did they not 
perceive them in their mind. Which things, if 
they were not, they could in no wise be dis- 
cerned. There are therefore things both future ^ 
and past. 

CHAP. XVIII. — PAST AND FUTURE TIMES CANNOT 
BE THOUGHT OF BUT AS PRESENT. 

23. Suffer me, O Lord, to seek further ; O 
my Hope, let not my purpose be confounded. 
For if there are times past and future, I desire 
to know where they are. But if as vet I do no t| '• 
succeed, I s till ^now, whereyer^jheyaxe^Jthatj *\ 
they 9xejiot^tE£IS-^,T"fyfe^Qi^|.^5^ 
sent;^ For if there also they beluture. They are 
not as yet there; if even there they be past, 
they are no longer there. Where soever^ there- 
fore* they are, whatsoever they are, they are 
only so as present. Although past things are 
related as true, |^ f-y are (jmwn out from the 



«»• 



t\ WW 




nia^es of th e things which they have formed in 
the rnind as.|optpaQ.ts . in ffieir JBassaj^:a«^ 
tjhe senses. My childhood, indeed, which 
no ^longer"* is, is in time past, which now is 
not ; but when I call to mind its image, and 
speak of it, I behold it in the present, be- 
cause it is as yet in my memory. Whether 
there be a like cause of foretelling future things, 
that of things which as yet are not the images 
may be perceived as already existing, I confess, 
my God, I know not. This certainly I know , 
that we generally think before on our tuture 
actions, ancLthat this .l^emedit^iQ-Q^| s presen t ; 
Gut that* tfie action "whereon we premeditate* is I 
not yet, because it is future ; which when we \ 
shall have entered upon, and have begun to do 
that which we were premeditating, then shall 
that action be, because then it is not future, but 
present. 

24. In whatever manner, therefore, this secret 
preconception of future things may be, nothing ^^ 
can btf seen, save what is. But what now is is 
not future, but present. When, therefore^ they ' 
s ay that thi ngs future are seen, it is not them- 
se lve s . whi ' cK ar}^rairn6roii^"fe, T ^ t ^ tctt'^ . 



■ «>*.». ^, 



future) ; but "their causes or their signsperhaps ' 
are seen, itBe whicTi already are." 'TTierefbre, to ' 
ffiose already beliolding them, they are not 
future, but present, from which future things 
conceived in the mind are foretold. Which 
conceptions again now are, and they who fore- 
tell those things behold these conceptions pres- 
ent before them. Let now so multitudinous a 
variety of things afford me some example. I 



170 THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. [Book XL 

- — — — — ^ ' 

[ behold daybreak ; I foretell that the sun is about to say that this time is twice as much as that 

I to rise. That which I behold is present ; what one, or that this is only as much as that, and so 

' I foretell is future, — not that the sun is future, of any other of the parts of time which we are 

^ which already is ; but his rising, which is not yet. able to tell by measuring. Wherefore, as I said,. 

Yet even its rising I could not predict unless I we measure times as they pass. And if any one 

had an image of it in my mind, as now I have should ask me, '* Whence dost thou know? I* 

while I speak. But that dawn which I see in I can answer, **I know, because we measure; 

the sky is not the rising of the sun, although it nor can we measure things that are not ; and 

may go before it, nor that imagination in my things past and future are not.** But how do 

mind; which two are seen as present, that the we measure present time, since it hath not space? 

other which is future may be foretold. Future It is measured while it passeth ; but when it 

things, therefore, are not as yet ; and if they shall have passed, it is not measured ; for there 

are not as yet, they are not. And if they are will not be aught that can be measured. But 

not, they cannot be seen at all ; but they can whence, in what way, and whither doth it pass 

be foretold from things present which now are, while it is being measured ? Whence, but from 

and are seen. the future ? Which way, save through the pres- 



CHAP. XIX. — ^WE ARE IGNORANT IN WHAT MAN- 
NER GOD TEACHES FUTURE THINGS. 



l^ 



ent ? Wiiither, but into the past ? From that, 
therefore, which as yet is not, through that whic;h 
hath no space, into that which now is not. ^ut 

25. Thou, therefore. Ruler of Thy creatures, wl^at (1" ^^ mf^^^^nrp iinlpf;«; time in some spac?? 

what is the method by which Thou teachest souls For we say not smgle,' aricnSfout'le, ^d triple, 

those things which are future? For Thou hast and equal, or in any other way in which we 

taught Thy prophets. What is that .way.4)y speak of time, unless with respect to the ^ces 

I ^gh. Thaui^tp. whom nothihg^isTuture, dost of times. In what space, then, do we measure 

rteach future things; or rather of future things passing time? Is it in the future, whence it 

/ apst teach present? For what is not, ofl cer- passeth over? But what yet we measure not, is 

I taJnty cannot be taught. Too far is this way not. Or is it in the present, by which it passeth ? 

from my view ; it is too mighty for me, I cannot But no space, we do not measure. Or in the 

attain unto it ; * but by Thee I shall be enabled, past, whither it passeth ? But that which is not 

when Thou shalt have granted it, sweet light of now, we measure not. 
my hidden eyes. 

CHAP. XXII. — HE PRAYS GOD THAT HE WOULD 

CHAP. XX.-IN WHAT MANNER TIME MAY PROP- ^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^,^g,^, ENTANGLED ENIGMA. 
ERLY BE DESIGNATED. 

I,T^^,^ r^-ji 28. My soul yearns to know this most entan- 

^ L'^ ^Ik * '^' ?r ''. "'='"'^'^'' and clear is, ,^ .^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ L^^^^ 

.^ Ahat neither are there future nor past things, ^^j, good Father.-through Christ I beseech 

/Nor IS It fitly said, 'There are three times past. Theelforbear to shut up these things, both 

/present and fiiture ; but perchance it might be ^.^ai'^^d hidden, from my desire, that* it may 

ffitlysaid.'Xhere^Jbree. times; a present of ^ hindered from penetrating them; but 1« 

•siKVin^Tu? re •'^' F^r ^^^^d f^Z 'Tf 'T^' ?[, T^^'^ ^"'"^ ™"*=^^ ^ 

l;'*^?^"'- V* \* 9 . ' , *t. • T Lord. Of whom shall I inquire concerning 

somehow exist m the soul, and otherwise I see ^1 ... ^^ * j «. u -^ u n t ♦u ^ ^ 

^ \ .. r *u- i. these things? And to whom shall I with more 

confess my ignorance than to Thee, 

these my studies, so vehemently kindled 

*— —.,, , ^ , T ^1. *• J vvy^«xvio Thy Scriptures, are not troublesome? 

we are permitted to speak, I see three t.tnes, and ^.^^ ^^^ ^^.^^^ j'(^^, ' j.^^ j ^^ ^ ^^^ ^^j^ 

I grant there are three. It may also be said ^^^^ ^^^^ j^^^ ^^ 'q. ^^^y^ ^.j^^ ^^1 

"There are three times. r«st. present and Unowest to give good gifts unto Thy children.' 

future," as usage falsely has it. See I trouble ^^. ^.^J^ 4,^ undertaken to know, and 

T: "^/.ge'"'^^' "j'' '^P'T ' P'o^'<|^«i fl«:fy^ trouble is before me until Thou dost open it.» 

that which IS said may be understood, that t^^ ^^ Christ. I beseech Thee, in His name, 

neither the future nor that which is past, now is jj^, 8j. ^^^. j^j ^^ ^^ .^ ^ ^^ p^^ 

For there are but few things which we speak j ^{^^^ and therefore do I speak.* This is 

properly many things improperly ; but what we hope ; for this do I live, that I may contem- 

may wish to say is understood. ^^^^ ^^^ ^^jj^^j^ ^j- ^^^ Lord.' Behold, Thou 

CHAP. XXI. — HOW TIME MAY BE MEASURED. hast made my da>-s old,* and they passaway, and 

27. I have just now said, then, that we « Man. vH. n. 

mea-sure times as they pass, that we may be able J p'; J."';'^*- 

_^.^-^^^^^— ^_^_^^_^_^_^^-^_^ ( pg^ xxvh. 4. 

> Ps. cxxziz. 6. * P>. xxziz. g. 



Chap. XXIV.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



171 



in what manner I know not. And we speak i 
to time and time, times and times, — " How Ion_ 
is the time since he said this?" " How long the 
time since he did this?" and, "How long 
the time since I saw that ? " and, " This sylla- 
ble hath double the time of that single short 
syllable." These words we speak, and these w« 
he.ar; and we are understood, and we under- 
stand. They are most manifest and most usual, 
and the same things again lie hid too deeply, 
and the discovery of them is new. 

CHAP XXII -F-THAT T ME IS A CERTAIN EXTEN- 



fr 


anLiearnedauo-t 


liaUbe 
t tijted 

Iff nr t 








Wha 







&> 






d a) 1 



i 



1 1 



5wr*[i 1 

wer ni, h h n I I j ak ng 

n t n ? Or hh Id thur n ou vo els be apme 
s)Uables long, others sh ortj_ but be ^use those 
sounded n a longer t n e these n a shorter ? 
God grant o men to see n a small th ng dv2 
common to Ih ngs grea and 'itnall Bo h the 
stars and lum nar cs of heaven are fi 
and for season and for diys and years 
doubt they are but ne h r should 1 say that 
the c rcu of tha woode h el was a day, nor 
yet should he say that therefore there was no 

30 IdMre tq__kaQ»:the pawetand nature 
of t irie. J iv wh ch we mea.su e the motions of 
"Sbd es and say (for example) that this motion 
, s tw e as long as that l-or, I ask, since 
\ day declares not the stay only of the sun 
upon the earth a co d ng to which day is one 
g n ght anothe bu also ts entire circuit 
from eas e en to eas —accord ng to which we 
So many days have pa. -scd " {the nights 
be ng ncluded when we say so many days," 
and their spaces not counted apart), — since, 
then, the day is finished by the motion of the 






and partJniLirly in irKu 






.-381:' 



t: 



X' SIS'™ utbi" 



a of ihc conilr 
y he defined (he pci 



irir^ 



lliaa Df linm fjiiKinil AUIaflutki, toL 
w measure of the durallon irt uilnn tha' 
iDiionDflheheavenlybDdia." SttiH 



sun, and by his circuit from east to east, I ask , 
whether ^ the motion it self is, the day, or_the_^ 
tynod in. wilidi . tliaL motiuiL is cQniplet^d,"' 
oTTjo^ For if ihc first lie' ihi; d.iy, then 
mid llic rCn 



■I',.. 



.iil.l 



iLe 



uiir. hut the 
t'v times to 
otild that be| 
;n Ins entirel 
r that, if, I 



comiik'tt a diiy. If lioth, nuitlicr 
called a day if the sun should 1 
round in the space of an hour; 
while the sun stood still, so much time should* 
pass as the sun is accustomed to accomplish his 
whole course in from morning to morning. I 
.shall n ot therefore now ask^hat that is wbicSTT 
IS called day, but wli'at timcTs,1)y which jry, 
measufiilg the"c!i'COit of the sun, should say that 
it was accomplished in half the space of tune jt 
was wont, if itta^l h «^n rrimplpiei^ i^^ so s mal t 
a spaced twelve hours ; and comparing both 
£roi^,''we'~ih'ouTS call ~that single, this double 
time, although the sun should run his course 
from east to east sometimes in that single, 
sometimes in that double time. Let no man 
then tell me that the motions of the heavenly 
bodies are times, because, when at the prayer 
of one the sun stood still in order that he might 
achieve his yictorious battle, the sun stood still, 
hut time went on. For in such space of time 
as was sufficient was that battle fought and 

tension. But do 1 see It, or do 1 seem to see it ? 
Thou, 'O Light and Truth, wilt show me. 



I . Dost Thou command that I should 1 
11' fingjihtmld-say that time is 'j^lhe n 
. Ixjdv?" Thou dost ] "■" 



n 



Tor whun J 'u„,l) 1- i,io\nJ, 1 L.> time mea.sure 

how lung it may be moving from the time in 

which it began to be moved till it left off. And 

if I saw not whence it begad, and it continued 

to be moved, so that I see not when it leaves 

off, I cannot measure unless, perchance, from 

the time I began until I cease to see. But if I 

look long, I only proclaim that the time is long, 

' at not how long it may be ; because when we 

,y, " How long," we speak by comparison, as, 

This is as long as that," or, "This is double 

. long as that," oranyother thing of the kind. 

But if we were able to note dowii^thc distances 

gf plac es whenceanJwhitKer cpmetTJihcbody 



172 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XL 



K' 



lure 



1 which is moved, or its parts, if it moved as in a 
wheel, we can say in how much time the motion 
of the body or its part, from this place unto 
that, was performed. Since, then, the mOJtiOJD 
of a body is one thing, that by whicli we meas- 
hcm ions it IS another, who cannot see 
tnese is rather tobe called time ? 
ougn a body be sometimes moved, 
metimes stand still, we measure not its motion 
nly, but also its standing still, by time ; and 
say, ** It stood still as much as it moved ; " 
, ** It stood still twice or thrice as long as it 
moved;*' and if any other space which our 
imeasuring hath either determined or imagined, 
ore or less, as we are accustomed to say. 
ime, therefore, is not the motion of a body. 

CHAP. XXV. — HE CALLS ON GOD TO ENLIGHTEN 

HIS MIND. 

32. And I confess unto Thee, O Lord, that 
I am as yet ignorant as to what time is, and 
again I confess unto Thee, O Lord, that I know 
that I speak these things in time, and that I 
have already long spoken of time, and that very 
** long *' is not long save by the stay of time. 
How, then, know I this, when I know not what 
time is ? Or is it, perchance, that I know not 
in what wise I may express what I know ? Alas 
for me, that I do not at least know the extent 
of my own ignorance ! Behold^ O my God, 
before Thee I lie not. As I speak, so is my 
heart. Thou shalt light my candle ; Thou, O 
Lord my God, wilt enlighten my darkness.* 

CHAP. XXVI. — WE MEASURE LONGER EVENTS BY 

SHORTER IN TIME. 

33. Doth not my soul pour out unto Thee 
trulv in confession that I do measure times? 
But do I thus measure, O my God, and know 
not what I measure? I measure the motion of 
a body by time ; and the time itself do I not 
measure? But, in truth, could I measure the 
motion of a body, how long it is, and how long 
it is in coming from this place to that, unless I 
should measure the time in which it is moved ? 
How, therefore, do I measure this very time it- 
self? Or do we by a shorter time measure a 
longer, as by the space of a cubit the space of a 
crossbeam ? For thus, indeed, we seem by the 
space of a short syllable to measure the space 
of a long syllable, and to say that this is double. 
Thus we measure the spaces of stanzas by the 
spaces of the verses, and the spaces of the verses 
by the spaces of the feet, and the spaces of the 
feet by the spaces of the syllables, and the spaces 
of long by the spaces of short syllables; not 
measuring by pages (for in that manner we 



/ 



» Ps. xviU. 28. 



measure spaces, not times), but when in utter-| 
ing the words they pass by, and we say, "It isj 
a long stanza because it is made up of so many 
verses ; long verses, because they consist of so 
many feet; long feet, because they are pro- 
longed by so many syllables ; a long syllable, 
because double a short one.*' But neither thus' 
is any certain measure of time obtained ; since 
it is possible that a shorter verse, if it be pro- 
nounced more fully, may take up more time 
than a longer one, if pronounced more hur- 
riedly. Thus for a stanzas, thus for a foot, thus 
for a syllable. Whence it appeared to me that 
time is no thing else than protracti on : but jM 
what I kn ow not. It i§ Won^erfuF to me, if it 
be not oFfftG mind itself. For what do I meas- 
ure, I beseech Thee, O my God, even when I 
say either indefinitely, ** This time is longer 
than that ; '* or even definitely, ** This is double 
that?*' That I measure time, I know. BiST 
I measure no rnTeTuture. for it is not "yet ^ nor 
doImeasure^Tie present, because it is extended 
l)y no sp2ce ;' tibr do I measure thp'.p^tjl]^- 
^ijse "if no longer is. What, therefore, do I 
measure ? Is it times passing, not past ? For 
thus had I said. ^^"^ 

CHAP. XXVI I. — TIMES ARE MEASLTIED IN PROPOR- 
TION AS THEY PASS BY. 

34. Persevere, O my mind, and give earnest 
heed. God is our helper ; He made us, and 
not we ourselves.* Give heed, where truth 
dawns. Lo, suppose the voice of a body begins 
to sound, and does sound, and sounds on, and 
lo ! it ceases, — it is now silence, and that voice 
is past and is no longer a voice. It was future 
before it sounded, and could not be measured, 
because as yet it was not ; and now it cannot, 
because it longer is. Then, therefore, while it 
was sounding, it might, because there was then 
that which might be measured. But even then 
it did not stand still, for it was going and pass- 
ing away. Could it, then, on that account be 
measured the more ? For, while passing, it was 
being extended into some space of time, in 
which it might be measured, since the present 
hath no space. If, therefore, then it might be 
measured, lo ! suppose another voice hath begun 
to sound, and still soundeth, in a continued 
tenor without any interruption, we can measure 
it while it is sounding ; for when it shall have 
ceased to sound, it will be already past, and 
there will not be that which can be measured. 
Let us measure it tnily, and let us say how 
much it is. But as yet it sounds, nor can it be 
measured, save from that instant in which it 
began to sound, even to the end in which it 
left off. For the interval itself we measure from » 

• Ps. c. 3. 






Chap. XXVIII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



173 



some b^;inning unto some end. On which 
accocmty a voice which is not yet ended cannot 
be measured, so that it may be said how long 
or how short it may be ; nor can it be said to 
/be equal to another, or single or double in re- 
spect of it, or the like. But when it is ended, 
it no longer is. In what manner, therefore, 
may it be measured? And yet we measure 
times ; still not those which as yet are not, nor 
those which no longer are, nor those which are 
protracted by some delay, nor those which have 
-^o limits. We, therefore, measure ne ither 
, future times, nor past, nor p rese nt^ nor tKose 
ing by; and yet we do measure times.' 
J vrommum; this verse of eight 

^ syllables alternates between short and long sylla- 
bles. The four short, then, the first, third, fifth 
and seventh, are single in respect of the four long, 
the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth. Each of 
these hath a double time to every one of those. 
I pronounce them, report on them, and thus it is, 
as is perceived by common sense. By common 
sense, then, I measure a long by a short syllable, 
and I find that it has twice as much. But when 
one sounds after another, if the former be short 
the latter long, how shall I hold the short one, 
and how measuring shall I apply it to the long, 
so that I may find out that this has twice as 
much, when indeed the long does not begin to 
sound unless the short leaves off soimding ? 
That very long one I measure not as present, 
since I measure it not save when ended. But 
its ending is its passing away. What, then, is 
it that I can measure ? Where is the short syl- 
lable by which I measure? Where is the 
long one which I measure ? Both have sounded, 
have flown, have passed away, and are no 
longer ; and still I measure, and I confidently 
answer (so far as is trusted to a practised sense), 
that as to space of time this syllable is single, 
that double. Nor could I do this, unless be- 
cause they have past, and are ended. There- 
fore do I not measure themselves, which now 
are not, but something in my memory, which 
remains fixed. 

,^6. jn thge^Q.j3a^jmad».Imeasur& times^' Do 
not overwEehn rae with thy clamour. That is, 
do not overwhelm thyself with the multitude of 

1 With the argument in this and the previous sections, compare 
Dr. Reid's remarks in his Intellectual Powers ^ iii. 5 : " We may 
measure duration by the succession of thoughts in the mind, as we 
measure length by inches or feet, but the notion or idea of duration 
must be antecedent to the mensuration of it, as the notion of length 
is antecedent to its being measured. . . . Reason, from the contem- 
plation of finite extendi things, leads us necessarily to the belief 
of an immentit^ that contains tnem. In like manner, memory gives 
us the conception and belief of finite intervals of duration. From 
the contemplation of these, reason leads us necessarily to the belief 
of an eterniiVt which comprehends all things that have a beginning 
and an end. The student will with advantage examine a mono- 
graph on this subject by C. Fortlage, entitled, Aurelii Augustini 
doctrina de tempore ex tibro xi. Con/essionum defiromta, Aristo- 
telicee, Kantianetf (Uiarumque tkeoriarium recensione aucta, et 
conernis hodienuK pkilosophite idets amilificata (Heidelbergae, 
. He says that amongst all the philosophers none have so 
ly approached truth as Augustin. 




thy impressions. In thee, I say, I measure 
times; the impres sion whi(;fi things ^^ *^^*"y 

pa^ by make on li hee. and, which, when thev 

. h a y i^ 4> a. ss< ? d. h y , 

tft§x.ti)e iffljB>re?^oft,shnu.lri-.hg n^adp. This I 
measure when I measure times. . Either, then, 
these are times, or I do not measure times. 
What when we measure silence, and say that 
this silence hath lasted as long as that voice 
lasts? Do we not extend our thoug ht to^the 
measiirelTa voice, as if it sounded.gg''^^^ wip 
may be able to declare something conce rnin g 
the inte.rval&.Qt sile nce in a given space "of time? 
For when both the voice and tongue are still, \ 
we go over in thought poems and verses, and 
any discourse, or dimensions of motions ; and 
declare concerning the spaces of times, how 
much this may be in respect of that, not other- 
wise than if uttering them we should pronounce 
them. Should any one wish to utter a length- 
ened sound, and had with forethought deter- 
mined how long it should be, that man hath in 
silence verily gone through a space of time, 
and, committing it to memory, he begins to utter 
that speech, which sounds until it be extended 
to the end proposed ; truly it liath sounded, and 
will sound. For what of it is already finished 
hath verily sounded, but what remains will 
sound ; and thus does it pass on, until the pre- 
sent intention, carry over the future into the 
past ; the past increasing by the diminution of 
the future, until, by the consumption of the 
future, all be past. 

CHAP. XXVIII. — ^TIME IN THE HUMAN MIND, 
WHICH EXPECTS, CONSIDERS, AND REMEMBERS. 

37. But how is tha i ^^^J HT^ diminished or 
consumed which as yet is jot ? Or how do fh 
jKe*p ast, whicRjTnoJ^^ 
tRe minJ" wTiich"*enactem"t^ tViere^are t 
things 'done ? For it botli expects, a nd con - 
side^ a nd remembers, that that which it ex- 
pecteth, through that which it considereth, may^ 
pass into that which it remembereth. Who, 
therefore, denieth that future things as yet ar 
not ? But yet there is already in the mind the 
expectation of things future. And who denies 
that past things are now no longer ? But, how- 
ever, there is still in the mind the memory of 
things past. And who denies that time present 
wants space, because it passeth away in a mo- 
ment? But yet our consideration endureth, 
through which that which may be present may 
proceed to become absent. Future time, which 
is not, is not therefore long; but ajMong 
future'* is "a long ejmectattjigjj j^f^the^futuxe^ 
JJor Tsfime^past, whicn is now no longer, long; 
but a long past is '* a l ong memory of the past.** 




m 



are t hree 

»•►-• 1 -• ■ 111111 ~, 



174 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XI. 



38. I am about to repeat a psalm that I know. 
Before I begin, my attention is extended to the 
whole ; but when I have begun, as much of 
as becomes past by my saying it is extended in 
my memory ; and the life of this action of mine 
is divided between my memory, on account of 
what I have repeated, and my expectation, on 
account of what I am about to repeat ; yet my 
consideration is present witb me, through which 
that which was future may be carried over so 
that it may become past. Which the more it 
is done and repeated, by so much (expectation 
being shortened) the memory is enlarged, until 
the whole expectation be exhausted, when that 
whole action being ended shall have passed into 
memory. And what takes place in the ent ire 
psalm, take s place also m each individual pgfT 
61 ii; airid ITrefcRtnaTvidual SfllSWe rthisKCHcN 
"in the fonger actibif, of wh!ch tTiaf psalm is per- 
chance a portion ; the same holds in t he whole 
life of m an, ofwhich al! the~acti6ns of'inan an: 
parts; flie same Folds in the whole ag_e of the 
sons of men, of which all the lives of men are 
parts. 

CHAP. XXIX. — ^THAT HUMAN LIFE IS A DISTRAC- 
TION, BUT THAT THROUGH THE MERCY OF fiOD 
HE WAS INTENT ON THE PRIZE OF HIS HEAV- 
ENLV CALLING. 

39. But "because Thy loving-kindness is 
better than life,"' behold, my life isbutadis- 
traction,' and Thy right hand upheld me' in 
my Lord, the Son of man, the Mediator be- 

Itween Thee,' The One, and us the many, — in 
many distractions amid many things, — that 
through Him I may apprehend in whom I have 
been apprehended, and may be re-collected 
from my old days, following The One, forget- 
ting the things that are past ; and not dis- 
tracted, but drawn on,' not to those things 
which shall be and shall pass away, but to those 
things which are before,* not distractedly, liiii 
intently, I follow on for the prize of my heav- 
enly calling,' where I may hear the voice of 

* DiittHlifl. Il wUl be obKrvcd ihai ihcn it ft play on the word 
(hniii|)i<ii,i the (eciian. 
> Vs. liiii. i. 
<iTln. II. J. 
' .Vim dliltnlui ltd iitintui. So In Sirm. cdv. 6, ire hate : 



■' Unui 



Hid here In > 



- '-"T!^ rf the <uW«t "f 

,_ -.. .. ih.n ihit which po.. 

iw> the idle and the woridly u to ihe influence of Kme In amcllo- 
[iuj their crHidhion. lliey have " jcood imeniiou," and hupe 

~ ' rl)' affitrdt an opponunily for ciwr 



*iid life ID work, fi 
CuplHton {Rinaiitt, 
legaid limr u an ^ 

caiuei whicii operate ^towty anj imperceplibly , 
pmilivecauK is InacEiiin, ho chaim Lakei place in the bp^i 
thoiitond yean; t, g-, a drop of water encaicd in a cavl 



iiiil in'realiiy ilme-^wi nothing, ai^ iC 
"■ ■-- forSI tli™e 



Thy priise, and contemplate Thy delights,' 
neither coming nor passing away. But now 
are my years spent in mourning,* And Thou, 
O Lord, art my comfort, my Father everlasting. 
But I have been divided amid times, the order 
of which I know not ; and my thoughts, even 
the inmost bowels of my soul, are mangled 
with tumultuous varieties, until 1 flow together 
unto Thee, purged and molten in the fire of 
Thy love." 



1 my mould, iny t ruth j nor wilL i 
ti e r HUftUO ff E -oTineti, ~^o by a penal 
disease thirst for more than they can hold, and, 
^aj, " What did God make before He made 
heaven and earth?" Or, "How came it intol 
His mind to make anything, when He never 
l>cfore made anything?" Grant to them, Oj 
Lord, to think well what they say, and to s«r 
that where there is no time, they cannot say 
"never." What, therefore. He is said "never 
to have made," what else is it but to say, that 
in no time was it made ? Let them therefore 
see thai fhere cOTi ig be ho time without a created 



being," aridlei tnenLcease.Iaspeak that vanity. 
Let tfieni" also be extended unto those "tHings 
which are before," and understand that thou, 
the eternal Creator of all times, art before all 
limes, and that no times are co-eterna) with 
Thee, nor any creature, even if there be any 
trcature beyond all times. 



I . O Lord my God, what is that secret place 
of Thy mystery, and how far thence have the ; 
consequtnces of my transgressions cast me? 
Heal my eyes, that I may enjoy Thy light. , 
S\irely, if there be a mind, so greatly abounding 
m knowledge and foreknowledge, to which all 
iHings past and future are so known as one 
psalm is well known to mej that mind is exceed- 
ingly wonderful, and very astonishing; because 
whatever is so pa.st, and whatever is to come of 
after ages, is no more concealed from Him than 
was it hidden from me when singing that psalm, 
what and how much of it had been sung from 
the beginning, what and how much remained 
unto the end. But far be it that Thou, the 
Creator of the universe, the Creator of souls and 



% Dc Of. Dti, li. A : " Thai the 



II He ani« ibniluHyln 
w^ridandiiDiehadbothon 



Chap. XXXI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



175 



bodies^ — fer be it that Thou shouldest know all 
things future and past. Far, far more wonder- 
fully, and far more mysteriously, Thou knowest 
them.* For it is not as the feelings of one sing- 
ing known things, or hearing a known song, are 
— ^through expectation of future words, and in 
remembrance of those that are past — varied, and 



1 Dean MansePs arsument, in his Bampton Lecturttt as to our 

knowledge of the Infinite, is well worthy of consideration. He 

refers to Augustin's views on the subject of this book in note 13 to 

his third lecture, and in the text itself says : " The limited character 

of all existence which can be conceived as having a continuous 

duration, or as made up of succeMive moments, is so far manifest. 

that it has been assumed almost as an axiom, by philosophical 

theologians, that in the existence of God there is no oistinction be- 

.tween past, nresent, and future. ' In the changes of things,' says 

^Augusttn, ' tnerc is a past and a future ; in Goa there is a present, 

in which neither past nor future can be.' ' Eternity,' says K^hius, 

is the perfect possession of interminable life, and of all that life at 

mce : ' and Aquinas, accepting the definition, adds, ' Eternity has no 

uccession, but exists all togeUier.' But whether this assertion be 

[iterallv true or not (and this we have no means of ascertaining), it is 

diear that such a mode of existence u altogether inconceivaibie by 

tt3» and that the words in which it is described represent not thought, 

but the refusal to think at all. " See notes to xui. za, below. 



his senses divided, that anything happeneth 
unto Thee, unchangeably eternal, that is, the 
truly eternal' Creator of minds. As, theD 7\ 
Thou in the Beginning knewestthe heaven a^;^^ 
ine earth without any chan'ere pTlTiy SSSwledge, 
so in the"Begiiining 'didst Thou make heaven 
and - 

and let him who understandeth not, confess unto 
Thee. Oh, how exalted art Thou, and yet the 
humble in heart are Thy dwelling-place; for 
Thou raisest up those that are bowed down,* and 
they whose exaltation Thou art fall not. 

* ** With God, indeed, all things are arraneed and fixed ; and 
when He seemeth to act upon sudden motive, He doth nothing but 
what He foreknew that He should do from eternity" (Aug. m Pt. 
cvi. 35). With this passage may well be compared Dean Mansel's 
remarks {Bampton Lectures , lect. vi., and notes 23-^5) on the 
doctrine, that the world is but a machine and is not under the con- 
tinual government and direction of Ck>d. See also note 4, on p. 80 
and note 3 on p. 136, above. 

*Seep. 166, note a, 

* P$. cxlvi. 8. 



BOOK XII. 



E COKTINUES HIS EXPLANATION OP THE PIRST CHAPTER OP GENESIS ACCORDING TO THE SEPTUAGim, 
AND BY ITS ASSISTANCE HE ARGUES, ESPECIALLY, CONCERNING THE DOUBLE HEAVEN, AND THE 
FORMLESS MATTER OUT OP WHICH THE WHOLE WORLD MAY HAVE BEEN CREATED; APTERWARK 
OP THE INTERPRETATIONS OP OTHERS NOT DISALLOWED, AND SETS PORTH AT GREAT LENGTH THE 
SENSE OP THE HOLY SCRIPTURE- 



CHAP. I . — THE DISCOVERY OF TRITTH IS DIFFICULT, 
BUT COD HAS PROMISED THAT HE WHO SEEKS 
SHALL FIND, 

I. My heart, O Lord, affected by the words 
of Thy Holy Scripture, is much busied in this 
poverty of my life ; and therefore, for the most 
part, is the want of human intelligence copious 
in language, because inquiry speaks more than 
discovery, and because demanding is longer 
than obtaining, and the hand that knocks is 
more active than the hand that receives. We 
hold the promise i who shall break it? "If God 
be for us, who can be against us ? " ' " Ask, and 
ye shall have; seek, and ye shall lind ; knockf 
and it shall be opened unto you : for every one 
that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh 
findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be 
Opened."' These are Thine own promises; 
and who need fear to be deceived where the 
Truth promiseth ? 



CBAP. II. — OF THE DOUBLE HEAVEN, THE VISI- 
BLE, AND THE HEAVEN OF HEAVENS. 

3. The weakness of my tongue confesseth 
unto Thy Highness, seeing that Thou madesc 
heaven and earth. This heaven which I see, 
and this earth upon which I tread {from which 
is this earth that I carry about me). Thou hast 
made. But where is that heaven of heavens,' 
O Lord, of which we hear in the words of the 
Psalm, The heaven of heavens are the Lord's, 
but the earth hath He given to the children of 
men ?* Where is the heaven, which we behold 
not, in comparison of which all this, which we 
behold, is earth ? For this corporeal whole, not 
as a whole everywhere, hath thus received its 



ibirdi of heaven " (Jer. iv. «(, "iht de* of heHveo" 

in have IheiT ci>uni«4 ; ncir both ihcK logethtr; bat 
iCavcn" Id which Paul wa» "caught up" (i Cot, xii. 
ire, and when God mou manifesu Hil glory, ud the 

6, mfter the LXX., Vulpitc, mid Sjiiac. 

■;« 



I beautiful figure in these lower parts, of which 
j the bottom is our earth ; but compared with that 
heaven of heavens, even the heaven of our earth 
is but earth ; yea, each of these great bodies is 
not absurdly called earth, as compared with that, 
I know not what manner of heaven, which is the 
Lard's, not the sons' of men. 



3. And, truly this earth was_iiurisible_aiid 
formless,' andtyiere was I know not what pro- 
fiindity of the deep upon which there. uasjio 
light,' because it had no form. Therefore didst 
Thou command that it should be written, that 
darkness was upon the face of the deep ; what 
else was it than the absence of light ? ' For had 
there been light, where should it have been save 
by being above all, showing itself aloft, and 
enlightening? Where, therefore, light was as 
yet not, why was it that darkness was present, 
unless because light was absent? Darkness 
therefore was upon it, because the light above 
was absent; as silence is there present where 
sound is not. And what is it to have silence 
there, but not to have sound there? Hast not 
Thou, O Lord, taught this soul which confesseth 
unto Thee ? Hast not Thou taught me, O Lord, 
that before Thou didst form and separate this 
formless matter, there was nothing, neither 
colour, nor figure, nor body, nor spirit ? Yet 
not altogether nothing; there was a certain 
formlessness without any shape. 

CHAP. IV. — FROM THE FORMLESSNESS OF MATTER, 
THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD HAS ARISEN. 

4. What, then, should it be called, that even 
in some ways it might be conveyed to those of 



> Gen. i. >, as nndend by ihc O/./ fr. 
t« "H <L»r«r...^rM, KaLisch in hi, 

• The reader (hould keep in mind in 1 

I DDtei, pp. AB and 103, above. 

I I CompaR Or Civ. Dtl, »!. 9, 10, 



le LXX. : 



Chap. VII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



177 



duller mind, save by some conventional word ? 

But what, in all parts of the world, can be found 

nearer to a total formlessness than the earth and 

the deep ? For, from their being of the lowest 

position, they are less beautiful than are the 

other higher parts, all transparent and shining. 

.Why, therefore, may I not consider the form- 

'lessness of matter — which Thou hadst created 

j without shape, whereof to make this shapely 

world — ^to be fittingly intimated unto men by 

Jhe name of earth invisible and formless ? 

CHAP. v. — ^WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE FORM OF 

MATTER. 

5. So that when herein thought seeketh what 
the sense may arrive at, and saith to itself, ** It 
is no intelligible form, such as life or justice, 
because it is the matter of bodies ; nor percepti- 
ble by the senses, because in the invisible and 
formless there is nothing which can be seen and 
felt ; — while human thought saith these things to 
itself, it may endeavour either to know it by be- 
ing ignorant, or by knowing it to be ignorant. 

CHAP. VI. — HE CONFESSES THAT AT ONE TIME HE 
HIMSELF THOUGHT ERRONEOUSLY OF MATTER. 

6. But were I, O Lord, by my mouth and by 
my pen to confess unto Thee the whole, what- 
ever Thou hast taught me concerning that 
matter, the name of which hearing beforehand, 
and not understanding (they who could not 
understand it telling me of it), I conceived * it 
as having innumerable and varied forms. \ And 
therefore did I not conceive it ; my^'^nwftd re- 
volved in disturbed order foul and horrible 
"forms,** but yet "forms;** and I called it 
formless, not that it lacked form, but because it 
had such as, did it appear, my mind would turn 
from, as unwonted and incongruous, and at 
which human weakness would be disturbed. But 
even that which I did conceive was formless, not 
by the privation of all form, but in comparison 
of more beautiful forms ; and true reason per- 
suaded me that I ought altogether to remove 
from it all remnants of any form whatever, if I 
wished to conceive matter wholly without form ; 
and I could not. For sooner could I imagine 
that that which should be deprived of all form 
was not at all, than conceive anything be- 
tween form and nothing, — neither formed, nor 
nothing, formless, nearly nothing. And my 
mind hence ceased to question my spirit, filled 
(as it was) with the images of formed bodies, 
and changing and varying them according to its 
wiM ; and I applied myself to the bodies them- 
selves, and looked more deeply into their mutabil- 
ity, by which they cease to be what they had 
been, and begin to be what they were not ; and 

^ See Ui. tec. zx, and p. 103, note, above. 



this same transit from form unto form I have 
looked upon to be through some formless con- 
dition, not through a very nothing ; but I 
desired to know, not to guess. And if my 
voice and my pen should confess the whole unto 
Thee, whatsoever knots Thou hast untied for me 
concerning this question, who of my readers 
would endure to take in the whole ? Nor yet, 
therefore, shall my heart cease to give Thee 
honour, and a song of praise, for those things 
which it is not able to express. For the mutabil- 
ity of mutable things is itself capable of all 
those forms into which mutable things are 
changed. And this mutability, what is it ? Is 
it soul ? Is it body ? Is it the outer appearance 
of soul or body? Could it be said, ** Nothing 
were something,** and ** That which is, is not,** 
I would say that this were it ; and yet in some 
manner was it already, since it could receive 
these visible and compound shapes. 

CHAP. VII. OUT OF NOTHING GOD MADE HEAVEN 

AND EARTH. 

7. And whence and in what manner was this, 
unless from Thee, from whom are all things, in 
so far as they are? But by how much the 
farther from Thee, so much the more unlike 
unto Thee ; for it is not distance of place. 
Thou, therefore, O Lord, who art not one thing 
in one place, and otherwise in another, but the 
Self-same, and the Self-same, and the Self-same,* 
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, didst 
in the beginning,' which is of Thee, in Thy 
Wisdom, which was born of Thy Substance, 
create something, and that out of nothing.* 
-dfdst create heaven and earth, not 
out of Thyself, for then they would be equal 
to Thine Only-begotten, and thereby even to 
Thee ; * and in no wise would it be right that 
anything should be equal to Thee which was not 
of Thee. And aught else except Thee there was 
not whence Thou mightest create these things, 
O God, One Trinity, and Trine Unity ; and, 
therefore, out of nothing didst Thou create 
heaven and earth, — a great thing and a small, — 
because Thou art Almighty and Good, to make 
all things good, even the great heaven and the 
small earth. Thou wast, and there was nought 
else from which Thou didst create heaven and 
earth ; two such things, one near unto Thee, 
the other near to nothing,* — one to which 
Thou shouldest be superior, the other to which 
nothing should be inferior. 



* Sec ix.sec n, above. 

* See p. 166, note, above. 

* See p. 165, note 2, above. 

* In the beginning of sec. 10, book xi. of his De Civ. Dei, he 
similarly argues that the world was, not like the Son, " begotten of 
the simple good," but " created." See also note 8, p. 76, above. 

* " Because at the first creation, it had no form nor thing in it."— 
W.W. 



178 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[BoMcXn. 



CHAP. VIII. HEAVEN AND EARTH WERE M. 

"IK THE beginning;" afterwards the 

WORLD, DURING SIX DAYS, FROM. SHAfELESS 
MATrER. 

8. But that heaven of heavens was for Thee, 
O Lord ; but the earth, which Thou hast giver 
to the sons of men,' to be seen and touched, 
was not such as now we see and touch. For ii 
was invisible and " without form," ' and there 
was a deep over which there was not light ; or, 
darkness was over the deep, that is, more than 
in the deep. For this deep of waters, 
visible, has, even in its depths, a light suitable 
to its nature, perceptible in some manner untc 
fishes and creeping things in the bottom of it. 
But the entire deep was almost nothing, since 
hitherto it was altogether formless; yet there 
was then that which could be formed. For 
^Thou, O Lord, hast made the world of a form- 
less matter, which matter, out of nothing. Thou 
hast made almost nothing, out of which to make 
those great things which we, sons of men, won- 
der at. For very wonderful is this corporeal 
heaven, of which firmament, between water and 
water, the second day after the creation of light. 
Thou saidst. Let it be made, and it was made.* 
Which firmament Thou calledst heaven, that is, 
the hea/en of this earth and sea, whi.h Thou 
madest on the third day, by giving a visible 
shape to the formless matter which Thou madest 
before all days. For even already hadst Thou 
made a heaven before all days, but that was the 
heaven of this heaven ; because in the beginning 
Thou hadst made heaven and earth. But the 
earth itself which Thou hadst made was forhiless 
matter, because it was invisible and without form, 
and darkness was upon the deep. Of which in- 
visible and formless earth, of which formlessness, 
of which almost nothing. Thou mightcst make 
all these things of which this changeable world 
consists, and yet consisteth not ; whose very 
changeablcness appears in this, that times can be 
observed and numbered in it. Because limesare 
made by the changes of things, while the shapes, 
whose matter is the invisible earth aforesaid, are 
varied and turned. 

CHAP. IX. — THAT THE HEAVEN OF HEAVENS WAS 
AN INTELLECTUAL CREATURE, BUT THAT THE 
EARTH WAS INVISIDLE AND FORMLESS BEFORE 
THE DAYS THAT IT WAS MADE, 

g. And therefore the Spirit, the Teacher of 
Thy servant,* when He relates that Thou didst 
in the Beginning create heaven and earth, is 
silent as to times, silent as to days. For, doubt- 
less, that heaven of heavens, which Thou in the 



Icginning didst create, is some intellectual 

reature, which, although in no wise co-etemal 

unto Thee, the Trinity, is yet a partaker of 

Thy eternity, and by reason of the sweetness 

of that most happy contemplation of Thyself, 

doth gristly restrain its own mutability, and 

'ihout any failure, from the time in which it 

IS created, in clinging unto Thee, surpasses all 

c rolling change of times. But this shapeless- 

ss — this earth invisible and without form — has 

)t itself been numbered among the days. For 

lere there is no shape nor order, nothing either 

cometh or goeth ; and where this is not, thoe 

tainly are no days, nor any vicissitude of 

spaces of times. 

tHAF. X. — HE BEGS OF GOD THAT HE MAY LIVK 
N IHE TRUE LIGHT, AND MAY BE INSTRUCTED 
\3 TO THE MYSTERIES OF THE SACRED BOOKS. 

10. Oh, let Truth, the light of my heart,' not 
own darkness, speak unto me 1 I have de- 
nded lo that, and am darkened. But thence, 
:n thence, did I love Thee. I went astray, and 
lembered Thee. 1 heard Thy voice behind 
bidding me return, and scarcely did I hear 
it for the tumults of the unquiet ones. And 
now, behold, I return burning and panting after 
Thy fountain. Let no one prohibit me; of 
this will I drink, and so have life. Let mc not 
be my own life ; from myself have I badly 
Uved, — death was I unto myself; in Thee do I 
Do Thou speak unto me; do Thou 
discourse unto me. In Thy books have I be- 
lieved, and their words are very deep.' 

CHAP. XI. WHAT MAY BE DISCOVERED TO HIM 

BY GOD. I 

II. Already hast Thou told me, O Lord, with 
strong voice, in my inner ear, that Thou art 
ernal, having alone immortality.' Since Thou 
't not changed by any shape or motion, nor is 
Thy will altered by times, because no will which 
hanges is immortal. This in Thy sight is clear 
to rae, and let it become more and more clear, 
I beseech Thee ; and in that manifestation let 
abide more soberly under Thy wtngs. lake- 
wise hast Thou said to me, O Lord, with a strong 
voice, in my inner ear, that Thou hast made all 
natures and substances, which are not what Thou 
Thyself art, and yet they are ; and that only is 
not from Thee which is not, and the motion of 









i™lehi(£ji 



h tht ScHpiuT 

g nolei on pp. 370, jji, fccloir. 



<lM,7nKiId«rEy God m'iSS- 
■ ■■ *■ " lur npintiul 



Chap. XIII.] 

. . \ 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



179 



the will from Thee who art, to that which in a 
less degree is, because such motion is guilt and 
sin ; ^ and that no one's sin doth either hurt 
Thee, or disturb the order of Thy rule,' either 
first or last. This, in Thy sight, is clear to me, 
and let it become more and more clear, I be- 
seech Thee; and in that manifestation let me 
abide more soberly under Thy wings. 

12. Likewise hast Thou said to me, with a 
strong voice, in my inner ear, that that creature, 
whose will Thou alone art, is not co-eternal unto 
Thee, and which, with a most persevering 
purity' drawing its support from Thee, doth, in 
place and at no time, put forth its own muta- 
bility ;* and Thyself being ever present with it, 
unto whom with its entire affection it holds itself, 
having no future to expect nor conveying into 
the past what it remembereth, is varied by no 
change, nor extended into any times.* O blessed 
one, — if any such there be, — in clinging unto 
Thy Blessedness ; blest in Thee, its everlasting 
Inhabitant and its Enlightener ! Nor do I find 
what the heaven of heavens, which is the Lord's, 
can be better called than Thine house, which 
contemplateth Thy delight without any defection 
of going forth to another; a pure mind, most 
peacefully one, by that stability of peace of holy 
spirits,* the citizens of Thy city ** in the heaven- 
ly places,** above these heavenly places which 
are seen.^ 

13. Whence the soul, whose wandering has 
been made far away, may understand, if now she 
thirsts for Thee, if now her tears have become 
bread to her, while it is daily said unto her 
" Where is thy God ? '* * if she now seeketh of 
Thee one thing, and desireth that she may dwell 
in Thy house all the days of her life.' And 
what is lier life but Thee ? And what are Thy 
days but Thy eternity, as Thy years which fail 
not, because Thou art the same ? Hence, there- 
fore, can the soul, which is able, understand 
how far beyond all times Thou art eternal ; 
when Thy house, which has not wandered from 
Thee, although it be not co-eternal with Thee, 
yet by continually and unfailingly clinging unto 
Thee, suffers no vicissitude of times. This in 
Thy sight is clear unto me, and may it become 
more and more clear unto me, I beseech Thee ; 
and in this manifestation may I abide more 
soberly under Thy wings. 



* For Augustin's view of evil as a *' privation of good," see p. 64, 
note I, above, and with it compare vii. sec. 22. above; Qm. Secun- 
din. c. 12 ; and Z)r Lib. Arb. ii. 51. Parker, in his Theism^ Atheism, 
etc. p. X19, contends that God Himself must in some way be the 
author of evil, and a similar view is maintained by Schleiermacher, 
Christlickt Giauhe, sec. 80. 

* Sec ii. sec. 13, and v. sec. 2, notes 4, 9, above. 

* See Iv. wee. j, and note i, above. 

* See sec. 19, below. 

* Sec xi. sec. 38, above, and sec. 18, below. 

* Sec xiii. sec. 50, below. 
T Eph. i. ao. etc. 

» Ps. xlii. 2, 3, 10. 

* Ps. xxvii. 4. 



14. Behold, I know not what shapelessness 
there is in those changes of these last and low- 
est creatures. And who shall tell me, unless it 
be some one who, through the emptiness of his 
own heart, wanders and is staggered by his own 
fancies? Who, unless such a one, would tell 
me that (all figure being diminished and con- 
sumed), if the formlessness only remain, through 
which the thing was changed and was turned 
from one figure into another, that that can ex- 
hibit the changes of times ? For surely it could 
not be, because without the change of motions 
times are not, and there is no change where 
there is no figure. 

CHAP. Xn. — FROM THE FORMLESS EARTH GOD 
CREATED ANOTHER HEAVEN AND A VISIBLE 
AND FORMED EARTH. 

15. Which things considered as much as 
Thou givest, O my God, as much as Thou ex- 
citest me to ** knock,** and as much as Thou 
openest unto me when I knock,*® two things I 
find which Thou hast made, not within the 
compa.ss of time, since neither is co-eternal 
with Thee. One, which is so formed that, 
without any failing of contemplation, without 
any interval of change, although changeable, 
yet not changed, it may fully enjoy Thy eter- 
nity and unchangeableness ; the other, which 
was so formless, that it had not that by which 
it could be changed from one form into an- 
other, either of motion or of repose, whereby it 
might be subject unto time. But this Thou 
didst not leave to be formless, since before all 
days, in the beginning Thou createdst heaven 
and earth, — these two things of which I spoke. 
But the earth was invisible and without form, 
and darkness was upon the deep." By which 
words its shapelessness is conveyed unto us, — 
that by degrees those minds may be drawn on 
which cannot wholly conceive tl^ privation of 
all form without coming to nothing, — whence 
another heaven might be created, and another 
earth visible and well-formed, and water beau- 
tifully ordered, and whatever besides is, in the 
formation of this world, recorded to have been, 
not without days, created ; because such things 
are so that in them the vicissitudes of times may 
take place, on account of the appointed changes 
of motions and of forms." 

CHAP. XIII. OF THE INTELLECTUAL HEAVEN AND 

FORMLESS EARTH, OUT OF WHICH, ON AN- 
OTHER DAY, THE FIRMAMENT WAS FORMED. 

16. Meanwhile I conceive this, O my God, 
when I hear Thy Scripture speak, saying, In 
the beginning God made heaven and earth; 



w Matt. vii. 7. 

" lien. i. 2. 

u See end of sec. 40, below. 



i8o 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XIL 



but the earth was invisible and without form, 
and darkness was upon the deep, and not stat- 
ing on what day Thou didst create these things. 
Thus, meanwhile, do I conceive, that it is on 
account of that heaven of heavens, that intel- 
lectual heaven, where to understand is to know 
all at once, — not "in part,*' not " darkly,*' 
not "through a glass,** ^ but as a whole, in 
manifestation, "face to face; ** not this thing 
now, that anon, but (as has been said) to know 
at once without any change of times ; and on 
account of the invisible and formless earth, 
without any change of times ; which change is 
wont to have " this thing now, that anon,'* 
because, where there is no form there can be no 
distinction between " this " or " that ; " — it is, 
then, on account of these two, — a primitively 
formed, and a wholly formless; the one heaven, 
but the heaven of heavens, the other earth, but 
the earth invisible and formless ; — on account 
of these two do I meanwhile conceive that Thy 
Scripture said without mention of days, " In 
the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth." For immediately it added of what 
earth it spake. And when on the second day the 
firmament is recorded to have been created, and 
called heaven, it suggests to us of which heaven 
He spake before without mention of days. 

CHAP. XIV. — OF THE DEPTH OF THE SACRED 
SCRIPTURE, AND ITS ENEMIES. 

17. Wonderful is the depth of Thy oracles, 
whose surface is before us, inviting the little 
ones ; and yet wonderful is the depth, O my 
God, wonderful is the depth.* It is awe to 
look into it ; and awe of honour, and a tremor 
of love. The enemies thereof I hate vehem- 
ently.' Oh, if Thou wouldest slay them with 
Thy two-edged sword,* that they be not its ene- 
mies ! For thus do I love, that they should be 
slain unto themselves that they may live unto 
Thee. But behold others not reprovers, but 
praisers of the book of Genesis, — "The Spirit 
of God," say they, "Who by His servant 
Moses wrote these things, willed not that these 
words should be thus understood. He willed 
not that it should be understood as Thou sayest, 
but as we say." Unto whom, O God of us all. 
Thyself being Judge, do I thus answer. 

CHAP. XV. HE ARGUES AGAINST ADVERSARIES 

CONCERNING THE HEAVEN OF HEAVENS. 

18. " Will you say that these things are false/ 



I 



* 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

• See p. ivj, note 2, and p. X78, note 2, above. See also Trench, 
//u/tean Lectures (1845), feet. 6, *• The Inexhaustibility of Script- 
ure." 

• Ps. cxxxix. 21. 

* Ps. cxlix. 6. He refers to the Manichxans fsee p. 71, note 1). 
In his comment on this place, he interprets the " two-edf^ed sword " 
to mean the Old and New Testament, called two-edged, he says, 
because it speaks of things temporal and eternal. 



which, with a strong voice, Truth tells me in 
my inner ear, concerning the very eternity of 
the Creator, that His substance is in no wise 
changed by time, nor that His will is separate 
from His substance? Wherefore, He willeth 
not one thing now, another anon, but once and 
for ever He willeth all things that He willeth ; 
not again and again, nor now this, now that ; 
nor willeth afterwards what He willeth not be- 
fore, nor willeth not what before He willed. 
Because such a will is mutable, and no mutable 
thing is eternal ; but our God is eternal.* Like- 
wise He tells me, tells me in my inner ear, that 
the expectation of future things is turned to 
sight when they have come; and this same 
sight is turned to memory when they have 
passed. Moreover, all thought which is thus 
varied is mutable, and nothing mutable is eter- 
nal ; but our God is eternal. ' * These things I 
sum up and put together, and I find that my 
God, the eternal God, hath not made any crea- 
ture by any new will, nor that His knowledge 
suffereth anything transitory. 

19. What, therefore, will ye say, ye objectors? 
Are these things false? **No,** they say. 
** What is this? Is it false, then, that every 
nature already formed, or matter formable, is 
only from Him who is supremely good, because 
He is supreme ? * ' * * Neither do we deny this," 
say they. ** What then? Do you deny this, 
that there is a certain sublime creature, cling- 
ing with so chaste a love with the true and 
truly eternal God, that although it be not co- 
eternal with Him, yet it separateth itself not 
from Him, nor floweth into any variety and 
vicissitude of times, but resteth in the truest 
contemplation of Him only ? '* Since Thou, 
God, showest Thyself unto him, and sufiicest 
him, who loveth Thee as muce as Thou com- 
rtiandest, and, therefore, he declineth not from 
Thee, nor toward himself.' This is the house 
of God,' not earthly, nor of any celestial bulk 
corporeal, but a spiritual house and a partaker 
of Thy eternity, because without blemish for 
ever. For Thou hast made it fast for ever and 
ever ; Thou hast given it a law, which it shall 
not pass.® Nor yet is it co-eternal with Thee, 
O God, because not without beginning, for it 
was made. 

20. For although we find no time before it, 
for wisdom was created before all things,' — 
not certainly that Wisdom manifestly co-eternal 
and equal unto Thee, our God, His Father, 



\ 



* See xi, sec. 

• In his /V 



II, above. 

y^ra Relig. c, 13, he says : " We must conless that 

the angels are in their nature mutable as (>od is Immutable. Yet 
by that will with wliich they love (Jod more than themselves, they 
remain firm and staple in Him, and enjoy His majesty, being most 
willingly subject to Him alone." 

' In his Ctm. Adv. Leg:, ^i Profh. i. 2, he speaks of all who an 
holy, whether angels or men, as being God's awcUing-place. 

■ rs. cxlviii. 6. 

* Ecclus. i. 4. 



Chap. XVI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



i8l 



and by Whom all things were created, and in 
Whom, as the Beginning, Thou createdst 
heaven and earth ; but truly that wisdom which 
has been created, namely, the intellectual 
nature,* which, in the contemplation of light, 
is light. For this, although created, is also 
called wisdom. But as great as is the difference 
between the Light which enlighteneth and that 
which is enlightened,* so great is the difference 
between the Wisdom that createth and that 
which hath been created ; as between the 
Righteousness which justifieth, and the right- 
eousness which has been made by justification. 
For we also are called Thy righteousness ; for 
thus saith a certain servant of Thine: **That 
we might be made the righteousness of God in 
Him.'*' Therefore, since a certain created 
wisdom was created before all things, the 
rational and intellectual mind of that chaste 
city of Thine, our mother which is above, and 
is free,* and ''eternal in the heavens'** (in 
what heavens, unless in those that praise Thee, 
the ** heaven of heavens," because this also is 
the " heaven of heavens," • which is the Lord's) 
— although we find not time before it, because 
that which hath been created before all things 
also precedeth the creature of tiipe, yet is the 
Eternity of the Creator Himself before it, from 
Whom, having been created, it took the begin- 
ning, although not of time, — for time as yet 
was not, — yet of its own very nature. 

21. Hence comes it so to be of Thee, our 
God, as to be manifestly another than Thou, 
and not the Self-same.' Since, although we 
find time not only not before it, but not in it 
(it being proper ever to behold Thy face, nor is 
ever turned aside from it, wherefore it happens 
that it is varied by no change), yet is there in it 
that mutability itself whence it would become 
dark and cold, but that, clinging unto Thee 
with sublime love, it shineth and gloweth from 
Thee like a perpetual noon. O house, full of 
light and splendour ! I have loved thy beauty, 
and the place of the habitation of the glory of 
my Lord,* thy builder and owner. Let my 
wandering sigh after thee ; and I speak unto Him 
that made thee, that He may possess me also in 
thee, seeing He hath made me likewise. " I 
have gone astray, like a lost sheep ; " • yet upon 



1 " Pet. Lombard, lib. sent, a, dist. a, affirms that by Wisdom, 
JEccIus. i. 4, the angels be understood, the whole spiritual intellect- 
ual nature; namely, this highest heaven, in which the angels were 
created, and it by them instantly filled," — W. W. 

« On God as the Father of Lights, see p. 76, note 2. In addition 
to the references there given, compare in Ev.Joh. Tract, ii. sec. ' 
7; xiv. sees. I, a ; and xxxv. sec. 3. See also p. 373, note, be.' jw. 

*a Cor. V. ai. 

« Gal. hr. a6. 

» a Cor. ▼. 1. 

* Ps. cxlviii. 4. 

7 Ag^nst the Manichaans. See iv. sec. a6, and part a of note on 
p, 76, abore. 

* P». xxvi. 8, 

* Ps. cadx. Z76. 



the shoulders of my Sheperd,^® thy builder, I 
hope that I may be brought back to thee. 

22. ** What say ye to me, O ye objectors 
whom I was addressing, and who yet believe 
that Moses was the holy servant of God, and 
that his books were the oracles of the Holy 
Ghost? Is not this house of God, not indeed 
co-eternal with God, yet, according to its meas- 
ure, eternal in the heavens, " where in vain you 
seek for changes of times, because you will not 
find them ? For that surpasseth all extension, 
and every revolving space of time, to which it 
is ever good to cleave fast to God. " " " It is, " 
say they. ** What, therefore, of those things 
which my heart cried out unto my God, when 
within it heard the voice of His praise, what 
then do you contend is false ? Or is it because 
the matter was formless, wherein, as there was 
no form, there was no order ? But where there 
was no order there could not be any change of 
times ; and yet this * almost nothing,' inasmuch 
as it was not altogether nothing, was verily from 
Him, from Whom is whatever is, in what state 
soever anything is." **This also," say they, 
** we do not deny." 

CHAP. XVI. — HE WISHES TO HAVE NO INTER- 
COURSE WITH THOSE WHO DENY DIVINE TRUTH. 

23. With such as grant that all these things 
which Thy truth indicates to my mind are true, 
I desire to confer a little before Thee, O my 
God. For let those who deny these things bark 
and drown their own voices with their cla!T;our 
as much as they please ; I will endeavour to 
persuade them to be quiet, and to suffer Thy 
word to reach them. But should they be unwill- 
ing, and should they repel me, I beseecli, O my 
God, that Thou ** be not silent to me." " Do 
Thou speak truly in my heart, fcfr Thou only so 
speakest, and I will send them away blowing 
upon the du.st from without, and raising it up 
into their own eyes ; and I will myself enter 
into my chamber, " and sing there unto Thee 
songs of love, — groaning with groaning unut- 
terable ** in my pilgrimage, and remembering 
Jerusalem, with heart raised up towards it, " 

W Luke XV, 5. 

** 2 Cor. V. I. 

« Ps. Ixxiii. a8. 

W Ps. xxviii. 1. 

*< Isa, xxvi. 20. 

W Rom. viii. 26. 

" Baxter has a noteworthy passage on our heavenly citizenship in 
his Saints' Rest : "As Moses, before he died, went up into Mount 
Nebo, to take a survey of the land of Canaan, so the Christian as- 
cends the Mount of Contemplation, and by faith surveys his rest. 
. . . As Daniel in his captivity daily opened his window towards 
Jerusalem, though far out of sight^ when he went to God in his devo- 
tions, so may the believing soul, m this captivity of the flesh, look 
towards * Jerusalem which is above ' (Gal. iv. 26). And as Paul was 
to the Colossians (ii. 5), so may the believer be with the glorified 
spirits, 'though absent in the flesh,' yet with thnn * in the spirit/ 
joyine and beholding their heavenly * order." And as the lark 
sweetly sings while she soars on high, but is suddenly silenced when 
she falls to the earth, so is the frame of the soul most delightful and 
divine while it keeps in the views of God by contemplation. Alas, 
we make there too short a stay, fall down again, and lay by our 
music ! " (Fawcett's £d. p. 327). 



1 82 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[BookXU 



Jerusalem my country, Jerusalem my mother, ami 
Thyself, the Ruler over it, the Enlightener, the 
lather, the Guardian, the Husband, the chaste 
and strong delight, the solid joy, and all good 
things ineffable, even all at the same time, be- 
cause the one supreme and true Good. And I 
will not be turned away until Thou collect all 
that I am, from {his dispersion ' and deformity, 
into the peace of that very dear mother, where 
are the first-fruits of my spirit,' whence these 
things are assured to me, and Thou conform 
and confirm it for ever, my God, my Mercy. 
But with reference to those who say not tliat all 
these things which are true and false, who hon- 
our Thy Holy Scripture set forth by holy Moses, 
placing it, as with us, on the summit of an au- 
thority' to bs followed, and yet who contradict 
us in some particulars, I thus speak : Be Thou, 
O our God, judge between my confessions and 
their contradictions. 



24. For they say, "Although these things be 
true, yet Moses regarded not those iwo things, 
when by divine revelation he said, "In tlie be- 
ginning God created the heaven and the earth.'* 
Under the name of heaven he did not indicate 
that spiritual or intellectual creature which 
always beholds the face of God ; nor under the 

■.jiame of earth, that shapele.ss matter." " What 
tllc.i?" "That man," say they, " meant as we 
say ; this it is that he declared by (hose words. ' ' 
"What is that?" " By the name of heaven and 
earth," say they, "did he first wish to set forth, 
universally and bricHy, all this visible world, 
that afterwards by the enumeration of the days 
heraight distribute, as if in detail, all those things 
which it pleased the Holy Spirit thus to reveal. 
Por such men were that rude and carnal people 
to whiirh he spolte, that he judged it prudent 
that only those works of God as were visible 
Ghould be entrusted to them." They agree, 
however, that the earth invisible and formless, 
and the darksome deep (out of which it is subse- 
quently pointed out that all these visible things, 
which are known to all, were made and set hi 
order during those" days "), may not unsuitably 
be understood of this formless matter. 

25. What, now, if another should say " That 
this same formlessness and confusion of matter 
was first introduced under the name of heaven 
and earth, because out of it this visible world, 
with all those natures which most manifestly 
appear in it, and which is wont to be called by 



the name of heaven and earth, was created and 
perfected " ? But what if another should say, 
that " Thai invisible and visible nature is not 
inaptly called heaven and earth ; and that conse- 
quently the universal creation, which God in 
His wisdom hath made, — that is, ' in the begin- 
ing,' — was comprehended under these two 
words. Yet, since all things have been made, 
not of the substance of God, but out of nothing* 
(because they are nut tliat same thing that God 
Ia, and there is in them all a certain mutability, 
whether they remain, as doth the eternal house 
of God, or be changed, as are the soul and body 
of man), therefore, that the common matter of 
all things invisible and visible, — as yet shapeless, 
but still capable of form, — out of which was to 
be created heaven and earth (that is, the invisi- 
ble and visible creature already formed), wai 
spoken of by the same names by which the 
earth invisible and formless and the darkneS 
upon the deep would be called ; with this dif- 
ference, however, that the earth invisible and 
formless is understood as corporeal matter, 
before it had any manner of form, but the 
darkness upon the deep as spiritual matter, 
before it was restrained at all of its unlimited 
fluidity, and before the enlightening of wis- 

.6. should any man wish, he may still say, 
" That the already perfected and formed natures, 
invisible and visible, are not signified under the 
name of heaven and earth when it is read, 'In 
the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth ; ' but that the yet same formless beginniof 
of things, the matter capable of being formeo 
and made, was called by these names, because 
contained in it there were these confused thingl 
not as yet distinguished by their qiuilities and 
forms, the nhich now being digested in their 
own orders, are called heaven and earth, the 
former being the spiritual, the latter the cor- 
poreal creature." 



27. All which things having leen heard and 
considered, I am unwilling to contend about 
words,' for that is profitable to nothing but to 
the subverting of the hearers.' But the law is 
good to edify, if a man use il lawfully ; ■ for the 
end of it " is charity out of a pure heart, and of 
a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned."' 
And well did our Master know, upon which 
two commandments He hung all the Law and 



Chap. XXI.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



183 



the Prophets.^ And what doth it hinder me, 
O my God, Thou light of my eyes in secret, 
while ardently confessing these things, — since 
by these words many things may be understood, 
all of which are yet true, — what, I say, doth it 
hinder me, should I think otherwise of what the 
writer thought than some other man thinketh ? 
Indeed, all of us who read endeavour to trace 
out and to understand that which he whom we 
read wished to convey ; and as we believe him 
to speak truly, we dare not suppose that he has 
spoken anything which we either knotw or sup- 
pose to be false. Since, therefore, each person 
endeavours to understand in the Holy Scriptures 
that which the writer understood, what hurt is 
it if a man understand what Thou, the light of 
all true-speaking minds, dost show him to be 
true although he whom he reads understood not 
this, seeing that he also understood a Truth, 
not, however, this Truth ? 

CHAP. XIX. — HE ENUMERATES THE THINGS CON- 
CERNING WHICH ALL AGREE. 

28. For it is true, O Lord, that Thou hast 
made heaven and earth ; it is also true, that the 
Beginning is Thy Wisdom, in Which Thou hast 
made all things.* It is likewise true, that this 
visible world hath its own great parts, the 
heaven and the earth, which in a short compass 
comprehends all made and created natures. It 
is also true, that everything mutable sets before 
our minds a certain want of form, whereof it 
taketh a form, or is changed and turned. It is 
true, that that is subject to no times which so 
cleaveth to the changeless form as that, though 
it be mutable, it is not changed. It is true, that 
the formlessness, which is almost nothing, can- 
not have changes, of times. It is true, that that 
of which anything is made may by a certain 
mode of speech be called by the name of that 
thing which is made of it ; whence that form- 
lessness of which heaven and earth were made 
might it be called ** heaven and earth." It is 
true, that of all things having form, nothing is 
nearer to the formless than the earth and the 
deep. It is true, that not only every created 
and formed thing, but also whatever is capable j 
of creation and of form, Thou hast made, ** by ' 
whom are all things." * It is true, that every- 1 

1 Maut. xxii. 40. For he says in his Con. Faust, xvii. 6, remark- 
on I< 
he la 



thing that is formed from that which is formless 
was formless before it was formed. 



i< 



tng on lohn i. 17, a text which he often quotes in this connection : 
"The law itself by being fulfilled becomes grace and truth. Grace 
is the fulfilment of love. And so in /^;V/. xix. 27 we read : " From 
the words, ' I came not to destroy the l:iw but to fulfil it,' we aren(»t 
to understand that Christ by His precepts filled up what was want- 
ing la the law ; but what the liteml command failed in doing from 
the pride and disobedience of men is accomuli^hed by grace. . . 
. So, the apostle says, ' faith worketh by love.' " So, again, we 
read in Srrm. cxxv. : " (^uia vcnit dare caritatem, el caritas per- 
ficit legem ; merito dixit non vcni legem solvere sed implere." And 
hence in his letter to Jerome f £"/. clxvii. 19), he speaks of the " royal 
law " as being " the law of lib«rty, which is the law of love." See 
p. 348, note 4, above. 

■ Ps dv. 34. See p. 297 note i, above, 

• X Cor. viii. 6. 



CHAP. XX.— OF THE WORDS, ** IN THE BEGIN- 
NING,*' VARIOUSLY UNDERSTOOD. 

29. From all these truths, of which they 
doubt not whose inner eye Thou hast granted 
to see such things, and who immoveably believe 
Moses, Thy servant, to have spoken in the 
spirit of truth ; from all these, then, he taketh 
one who saith, ** In the beginning God created 
the heaven and the earth,** — that is, ** In His 
Word, co-eternal with Himself, God made the 
intelligible and the sensible, or the spiritual and 
corporeal creature.'* He taketh another, who 
saith, ** In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth," — that is, ** In His Word, 
co-eternal with Himself, God made the uni- 
versal mass of this corporeal world, with all those 
manifest and known natures which it contain- 
eth.** He, another, who saith, ** In the begin- 
ning God created the heaven and the earth,'* — 
that is, ** In His Word, co-eternal with Himself, 
God made the formless matter of the spiritual* 
and corporeal creature." He, another, who 
saith, " In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth," — that is, "In His 
Word, co-eternal with Himself, God made the 
formless matter of the corporeal creature, where- 
in heaven and earth lay as yet confused, which 
being now distinguished and formed, we, at 
this day, see in the mass of this world." He, 
another, who saith, ** In the beginning God 
created heaven and earth," — that is, ** In the 
very beginning of creating and w^orking, God 
made that formless matter confusedly contain- 
ing heaven and earth, out of which, being 
formed, they now stand out, and are manifest, 
with all the things that are in them." 

CHAP. XXI. OF THE EXPLANATION OF THE 

WORDS, ** THE EARTH WAS INVISIBLE." 

30. And as concerns the understanding of 

* Augustin, in his letter to Jerome (£>. clxvi. 4) on " The ori^n 
of the human soul," says : " The m.>uI, whether it be termed material 
or immaterial, has a certain nature of its own, created from a sub- 
stance superior to the elements of this world." And in his /V CrtH. 
ati Lit. vii. 10, he speaks of the soul being formed from a certain 
"spiritual matter," even as flesh was formed from the earth. It 
should be observed that at one time Augustin held to the theory 
that the souls of infants were created by God out of nothing at eacn 
fresh birth, and only rejected thi.-t view for that of its being gene- 
rated by the parents with the body under the pressure of the Pela- 
^an controvepty. The first doctrine was generally held by the 
Schoolmen ; and William of C'onchcs maintained this belief on the 
authority of Augustin,— apparently l)einc unaware of any modifica- 
tion in his opinion: "Cum Augiistino, ' he says (Victor Cousin, 
Ouvragfs hud. cT Abclard^ p. 67;»), " credo et sentioquotidic novas 
animas non e\ traduce, non ex aliqua substantia, sed tA nihiio, solo 
jussM crratoris creari." Those who held the first-named belief 
were called Crratiani : those who held the second, 7>»r/i/</ii«/. It 
may be noted as to the word" Tr:«duciani," that lertuliian, in his 
De .-l«/w.vi, chaps. 24-27, etc., frequently uses the word tradux 
in thi-s Connection. Augustin, in his Retractations ^ ii. 45, refers to 
his letter to Jerome, and urges that if so obscure a matter is to be 
discussed at all, that solution only should be received : " Qua; con- 
traria non sit apertissimis rebus quas de original! peccato fides 
catholica novit inparvulis, nisi regenerentur in Christ<i, sine ('ubita- 
tione damnandis. On Tcrtullian'* views, see Bishop Kays, p. 
178, etc. 



1 84 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XII 



the following words, out of all those truths he 
selected one to himself, who saith, ** But the 
earth was invisible and without form, and dark- 
ness was upon the deep,** — that is, ** That cor- 
poreal thing, which God made, was as yet the 
formless matter of corporeal things, without 
order, without light.*' He taketh another, who 
saith, ** But the earth was invisible and without 
form, and darkness was upon the deep,** — that 
is, " This whole, which is called heaven and 
earth, was as yet formless and darksome matter, 
out of which the corporeal heaven and the cor- 
poreal earth were to be made, with all things 
therein which are known to our corporeal 
senses.** He, another, who saith, ** But the 
earth was invisible and without form, and dark- 
ness was upon the deep," — that is, ** This 
whole, which is called heaven and earth, was as 
yet a formless and darksome matter, out of 
which were to be made that intelligible heaven, 
which is otherwise called the heaven of heavens, 
and the earth, namely, the whole corporeal 
nature, under which name may also be com- 
prised this corporeal heaven, — that is, from 
which every invisible and visible creature would 
be created.** He, another, who saith, ** But 
the earth was invisible and without form, and 
darkness was upon the deep," — ** The Scrip- 
ture called not that formlessness by the name of 
heaven and earth, but that formlessness itself,*' 
saith he, ** already was, which he named the 
earth invisible and formless and the darksome 
deep, of which he had said before, that God had 
made the heaven and the earth, namely, the 
spiritual and corporeal creature.** He, another, 
who saith, ** But the earth was invisible and 
formless, and darkness was upon the deep,** — 
that is, ** There was already a formless matter, 
whereof the Scripture before said, that God had 
made heaven and earth, namely, the entire cor- 
poreal mass of the world, divided into two very 
great parts, the superior and the inferior, with 
all those familiar and known creatures which 
are in them.'* 

CHAP. XXII. — HE DISCUSSES WHETHER MATTER 
WAS FROM ETERNITY, OR WAS MADE BY GOD.* 

31. For, should any one endeavour to con- 
tend against these last two opinions, thus, — ** If 
you will not admit that this formlessness of mat- 
ter api)ears to be called by the name of heaven 
and earth, then there was something which 
God had not made out of which He could make 
heaven and earth ; for Scripture hath not told 
us that God made this matter, unless we un- 
derstand it to be implied in the term of hea- 



1 See xi. sec. 7, and note, above ; and xii. sec. 33, and note, be- 
low. Sec also the subtle reasoning of Dean Mansel \BafHpton Lect- 
ures ^ lect. ii.), on the inconsequence of receiving the idea of the 
creation out of nothii^ on other than Christian principles. And 
compare Coleridge, T%e Friend ^ iii. 3x3. 



ven and earth, or of earth only, when it is 
said, *In the beerinning God created heaven 
and ccrth,* as tnat which follows, but the earth 
was invisible and formless, although it was pleas- 
ing to him so to call the formless matter, we 
may not yet understand any but that which 
God made in that text which hath been already 
written, * God made heaven and earth.* '* The 
maintainers of either one or the other of these 
two opinions which we have put last will, when 
they have heard these things, answer and say, 
** We deny not indeed that this formless matter 
was created by God, the God of whom are all 
things, very good ; for, as we say that that is a 
greater good which is created and formed, so 
we acknowledge that that is a minor good which 
is capable of creation and form, but yet good. 
But yet the Scripture hath not declared that 
God made this formlessness, any more than it 
hath declared many other things ; as the * Cher- 
ubim,* and 'Seraphim,*' and those of which 
the apostle distinctly speaks, 'Thrones,* * Do- 
minions,' 'Principalities,* 'Powers,*' all of 
which it is manifest God made. Or if in that 
which is said, * He made heaven and earth,* all 
things are comprehended, what do we say of 
the waters ui)on which the Spirit of God moved? 
For if they are understood as incorporated in' 
the word earth, how then can fonnless matter 
be meant in the term earth when we see the 
waters so beautiful ? Or if it be so meant, why 
then is it written that out of the same formless- 
ness the firmament was made and called 
heaven, and yet it is not written that the waters 
were made ? For those waters, which we per- 
ceive flowing in so beautiful a manner, remain 
not formless and invisiblee. But if, then, they 
received that beauty when God said, Let the 
water which is under the firmament be gathered 
together,* so that the gathering be the very for- 
mation, what will be answered concerning the 
waters which are above the firmament, Ix^use 
if formless they would not have deserved to re- 
ceive a seat so honourable, nor is it written by 
what word they were formed ? If, then. Gene- 
sis is silent as to anything that God has made^ 
which, however, neither sound faith nor uner-l 
ring understanding doubteth that God hath] 
made,* let not any sober teaching dare to say 
that these waters were co-etornal with God be- 
cause we find them mentioned in the book of 
Genesis ; but when they were created, we find 
not. Why — truth instructing us — may we not 
understand that that formless matter, which the 
Scripture calls the earth invisible and without 
form, and the darksome deep,* have been made 

* Isa. vi. 2, and xxxvii. 16. 
« Col. i. 16. 

* Gen, i. 9. 

* Sec p. 165, note 4, above. 

* See p. Z76f note 5, above. 



Chap. XXII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



185 



by God out of nothing, and therefore that they 
are not co-eternal with Him, although that nar- 
rative hath failed to tell when they were made ? " 

CHAP. XXin. — TWO KINDS OF DISAGREEMENTS IN 
THE BOOKS TO BE EXPLAINED. 

32. These things, therefore, being heard and 
perceived according to my weakness of appre- 
hension, which I confess unto Thee, O Lord, 
who knowest it, I see that two sorts of differ- 
ences may arise when by signs anything is re- 
lated, even by true reporters, — one concerning 
the truth of the things, the other concerning the 
meaning of him who reports them. For in one ■ 
way we inquire, concerning the forming of the | 
creature, what is true ; but in another, what ! 
Moses, that excellent servant of Thy faith, would 1 
have wished that the reader and hearer should 
understand by these words. As for the first 
kind, let all those depart from me who imagine 
themselves to know as true what is false. And 
as for the other also, let all depart from me 
who imagine Moses to have spoken things that 
are false. But let me be united in Thee, O 
Lord, with them, and in Thee delight myself 
with them that feed on Thy truth, in the breadth i 
of charity ; and let us approach together unto the 
words of Thy book, and in them make search | 
for Thy will, through the will of Thy servant by 
whose pen Thou hast dispensed them. 

CHAP. XXIV. — OUT OF THE MANY TRUE THINGS, 
rr is NOT ASSERTED CONHDENTLV THAT MOSES 
UNDERSTOOD THIS OR THAT. 

33. But which of us, amid so many truths 
which occur to inquirers in these words, under- 
stood as they are in different ways, shall so dis- 
cover that one interpretation as to confidently 
say ** that Moses thought this;" and " that in 
that narrative he wished this to be understood,'* 
as confidently as he says " that this is true," 
whether he thought this thing or the other? 
For behold, O my God, I Thy servant, who in 
this book have vowed unto Thee a sacrifice of 
confession, and beseech Thee that of Thy mercy 
I may pay my vows unto Thee,' behold, can I, 
as I confidently assert that Thou in Thy im- 
mutable word hast created all things, invisible 
and visible, with equal confidence assert that 
Moses meant nothing else than this when he 
wrote, " In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth." ^ No. Because it is 
not as clear to me that this was in his mind 

' Pft. xxii 95. 

* It is curiouft to note ber« Fichte's strange idea {Anweisung 
mnm seitgen Ltben. Werke, v. 479), that St. John, at the commence- 
ment of nis Gospel, in his teacmng as to the " Word," intended to 
confute the Mosaic statement, which Fichte — since it ran counter 
to that idea of " the absolute " which he made the point of departure 
in hia phUotophy — antagoniies as a heathen and Jewish error. On 
" In the Beginning," sec p. z66, note a, above. 



when he wrote these things, as I see it to be 
certain in Thy truth. For his thoughts might 
be set upon the very beginning of the creation 
when he said, " In the beginning ; " and he 
might wish it to be understood that, in this 
place, " the heaven and the earth " were no 
formed and perfected nature, whether spiritual 
or corporeal, but each of them newly begun, 
and as yet formless. Because I see, that which- 
soever of these had been said, it might have 
been said truly; but which of them he may 
have thought in these words, I do not so per- 
ceive. Although, whether it were one of these, 
or some other meaning which has not been men- 
tioned by me, that this great man saw in his 
mind when he used these words, I make no 
doubt but that he saw it truly, and expressed it 
suitably. 

CHAP. XXV. — FT BEHOVES INTERPRETERS, WHEN 
DISAGREEING CONCERNING OBSCURE PLACES, TO 
REGARD GOD THE AUTHOR OF TRUTH, AND THE 
RULE OF CHARrrV. 

34. Let no one now trouble me by saying, 
" Moses thought not as you say, but as I say." 
For should he ask me, " Whence knowest thou 
that Moses thought this which you deduce from 
his words?" I ought to take it contentedly,^ 
and reply perhaps as I have before, or some- 
what more fully should he be obstinate. But 
when he says, " Moses meant not what you say, 
but what I say," and yet denies not what each 
of us says, and that both are true, O my God, 
life of the poor, in whose bosom there is no 
contradiction, pour down into my heart Thy 
soothings, that I may patiently bear with such 
as say this to me ; not because they are divine, 
and because they have seen in the heart of Thy 
servant what they say, but because they are 
proud, and have not known the opinion of 
Moses, but love their own, — not because it is 
true, but because it is their own. Otherwise they 
would equally love another true opinion, as I 
love what they say when they speak what is true ; 
not because it is theirs, but because it is true, 
and therefore now not theirs because true. But 
if they therefore love that because it is true, it 
is now both theirs and mine, since it is common 
to all the lovers of truth. But because they 
contend that Moses meant not what I say, but 
what they themselves say, this I neither like nor 
love ; because, though it were so, yet that rash- 
ness is not of knowledge, but of audacity ; and 
not vision, but vanity brought it forth. And 
therefore, O Lord, are Thy judgments to be 
dreaded, since Thy truth is neither mine, nor 
his, nor another's, but of all of us, whom Thou 
publicly callest to have it in common, warning 

I I ■ 11, J ■ ■ * 

3 Sec p. 48, note, and p. 164, note a, above. 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[BookXIL 



■us terribly not to hold it as specially for our- 
selves, lest we be deprived of it. For whoso- 
ever claims to himself as his own that which 
Thou appointed to all to enjoy, and desires that 
to be his own which belongs to all, is forced 
away from what is common lo all to that which 
is his own — that is, from truth to falsehood. 
For he that "speaketh a lie, speaketh of his 

35. Hearken, O God, Thou best Judge ! 
Truth itself, hearken lo what I shall say to this 
gainsayer ; hearken, for before 'i'hce I say it, 
and before my brethren who use Thy law law- 
fully, to the end of charity ; ' hearken and be- 
hold what I shall say to him, if it be pleasing 
unto Thee. For this brotherly and peaceful 
word do I return unto him ; " If we both see 
that that which thou sayest is true, and if we 

e that what I say is true, where, I ask, do 

;_ it? ("erlainly not 1 in thee, nor thou in 

:, but both in the unchangeable truth itself,' 
■which is above our minds." When, therefore, 
" we may not contend about the very light of 
the Lord our Clod, why do we contend about the 
thoughts of our neighbour, which we cannot so 
see as incommutable truth is .seen ; when, if 
Moses himself had appeared lo us and said, 
" This 1 meant," not so should we sec it, but 
believe it? Let us not, then, ■' be puffed up for 
one against the other," ' above that which is writ- 
ten ; let us love the Lord our God with all our 
heart, with all our soul, and wilh all our mind, 
and our neighbour as ourself,' As to which two 
precepts of charity, unless we believe titat Moses 
meant whatever in these books he did mean, we 
shall make God a liar when we think otherwise 
,' concerning our fellow-servants' mind than He 
hath taught us. Itehold, now, how foolish it is, 
in so great an abundance of the truest opinions 
which can be extracted from these words, rashly 
to affirm which of them Moses particularly 
meant ; and with pernicious contentions to offend 
charily itself, on account of which he hath spoken 
all the things whose words we endeavour lo ex- 
plain ! 

CHAP. XXVI. — WHAT HE MIGHT HAVE ASKED OF 
GOD HAD HE BEEN E.MJOIN'ED TO WRllE THE 
BOOK OF GENESIS. 

36. And yet, O my God, Thon exaltation of 
my humility, and rest of my labour, who hearest 
my confessions, and forgivest my sins, since Thou 
commandest me that I should love my neighbour 
as myself, I cannot believe that Thou gavest to 
Moses, 'illy most faithful servant, a less gift 

' A> la ill truth being Cod'i, kc ni. kc li, imd Dole 3, above ; 
and comjarc I. me. 6;, above. 



than I should wish and desire for myself from 
Thee, had I been bom in his time, and hadsl 
Thou placed me in that position that through 
ihe service of my heart and of my tongue those 
books might be di.^itribuied, which so long after 
were to profit all nations, and through the whole 
world, from so great a jiinnacle of authority, were 
to surmount the words of all false and proud 
teachings. I should have wished truly had I 
then been Moses (for we all come from the same 
mass ; and \k-h.it is man, saving that Thou ail 
mindful of him?"^). I should then, had I been 
at that time what he was, and enjoined by Thei; 
to write the book of Genesis, have wished Ihai 
such a power of expression and such a method 
of arrangement should be given me, that Ihej 
who cannol as yet understand how God creates 
might not reject the words as surpassing iheit 
powers ; and they who are already able lo do 
this, would find, in what true opinion soever they 
had by thought arrived at, that it was not passeo 
over in the few words of Thy servant ; and 
should anoilier man by the light of truth have 
discovered another, neither should that fail to 
be found in those same words. 



37. For as a fountain in a limited space il 
more plentiful, and affords supply for more 
streams over larger spaces than any one of those 
streams which, afler a wide interval, is derived 
from the same fountain ; so the narrative of Thy 
dispenser, destined to benefit many who wiere- 
likely to discourse thereon, does, from a limited 
measure of language, overflow into streams of 
clear truth, whence each one may draw out for 
himself that truth which he can concerning these 
subjects, — this one that truth, that one another, 
by larger circumlocutions of discourse. For 
some, when they read or hear these, words, think 
that God as a man or some mass gifted with 
immense power, by some new and sudden re- 
solve, had, ouiside itself, as if at ilistant places, 
created heaven and earth, two great bodies 
above and below, wherein all things were to be 
contained. And when they hear, (5od said, I>et 
it be made, and it was made, they think of words 
begun and ended, sounding in times and passing 
away, after the departure of which that came 
into lieing which was commanded to be; and 
whatever else of the kind their familiarity wilh 
the world' would suggest. In whom, being as 
yet little ones," while their weakness by this 
humble kind of speech is carried on as if in a 
mother's bosom, their faith is healthfully built 

,» Pi. viii. a. , 



Chap. XXVII.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



187 



up, by which they have and hold as certain that 
God made all natures, which in wondrous variety 
their senses perceive on every side. Which 
words, if any one despising them, as if trivial, 
with proud weakness shall have stretched him- 
self beyond his fostering cradle, he will, alas, fall 
miserably. Have pity, O Lord God, lest they 
who pass by trample on the unfledged bird ; and 
send Thine angel, who may restore it to its nest, 
that it may live until it can fly.' 

CHAP. XXVni. — THE WORDS, " IN THE BEGINNING," 
AND, "THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH," ARE 
DIFFERENIXY WNDERSTGOD. 

38. But Others, to whom these words are no 
longer a nest, but shady fruit-bowers, see the 
fruits concealed in them, fly around rejoicing, 
and chirpingly search and pluck them. For 
they see when they read or hear these words, 
O God, that all times past and future are sur- 
mounted by Thy eternal and stable abiding, and 
still that there is no temporal creature which 
Thou hast not made. And by Thy will, because 
it is that which Thou art, Thou hast made all 
things, not by any changed 'will, nor by a will 
which before was not, — not out of Thyself, in 
Thine own likeness, the form of all things, but 
out of nothing, a formless unlikeness which 
should be formed by Thy likeness (having re- 
course to Thee the One, after their settled capa- 
city, according as it has been given to each thing 
in his kind), and might all be made very good ; j 
whether they remain around Thee, or, being by 
degrees removed in time and place, make or 
undergo beautiful variations. These things they 
see, and rejoice in the light of Thy truth, in the 
little degree they here may. 

39. Again, another of these directs his atten- 
tion to that which is said, " In the beginning 
God made the heaven and the earth," and be- 
holdeth Wisdom, — the Beginning,* because It 
also speaketh unto us.^ Another likewise di- 
rects his attention to the same words, and by 
'•beginning" understands the commencement 
of things created ; and receives it thus, — In 
the beginning He made, as if it were said, He 
at first made. And among those who under- 
stand " In the beginning " to mean,, that " in 
Thy Wisdom Thou hast created heaven and 
earth," one believes the matter out of which 
the heaven and earth were to be created to be 
there called " heaven and earth ; " another, that 
they are natures already formed and distinct; 
another, one formed nature, and that a spiritual, 
under the name of heaven, the other formless, 
of corporeal matter, under the name of earth. 

* In allusion, perhafM, to Prov. xxvii. 8: "As a bird that wan- 
dereth from her nest, so is a man that wandcretb (rem his place." 
' See p. 166, note a. 
' JohnTiiL 33. 



But they who under the name of " heaven and 
earth" understand matter as yet formless, out 
of which were to be formed heaven and earth, 
do not themselves understand it in one manner ; 
but one, that matter out of which the intelligible 
and the sensible creature were to be completed ; 
another, that only out of which this sensible 
corporeal mass was to come, holding in its vast 
bosom these visible and prepared natures. Nor 
are they who believe that the creatures already 
set in order and arranged are in this place called 
heaven and earth of one accord ; but the one, 
both the invisible and visible ; the other, the 
visible only, in which we admire the luminous 
heaven and darksome earth, and the things that 
are therein. 

CHAP. XXIX. CONCERNING THE OPINION OF THOSE 



a 



WHO EXPLAIN IT **AT FIRST HE MADE. 



»» 



40. But he who does not otherwise under- 
stand, " In the beginning He made," than if it 
were said, " At first He made," can only truly 
understand heaven and earth of the matter of 
heaven and earth, namely, of the universal, that 
is, intelligible and corporeal creation. For if 
he would have it of the universe, as already--^ 
formed, it might rightly be asked of him : "If / 
at first God made this, what made He after-{^ 
wards?" And after the universe he will find; 
nothing ; thereupon must he, though unwilling, ^ 
hear, " How is this first, if there is nothing after-/ 
wards?" But when he says that God made 
matter first formless, then formed, he is not ab- 
surd if he be but able to discern what precedes 
by eternity, what by time, what by choice, what 
by origin. By eternity, as God is before all 
things ; by time, as the flower is before the fruit ; 
by choice, as the fruit is before the flower ; by 
origin, as sound is before the tune. Of these 
four, the first and last which I have referred to 
are with much difficulty understood ; the two 
middle very easily. For an uncommon and too 
lofty vision it is to behold, O Lord, Thy Eternity, 
immutably making things mutable, and thereby 
before them. Who is so acute of mind as to be 
able without great labour to discover how the 
sound is prior to the tune, because a tune is 
a formed sound ; and a thing not formed may 
exist, but that which existeth not cannot be 
formed ? ^ So is the matter prior to that which 
is made from it ; not prior because it maketh it, 
since itself is rather made, nor is it prior by an 
interval of time. For we do not as to time first 
utter formless sounds without singing, and then 
adapt or fashion them into the form of a song, 
just as wood or silver from which a chest or 
vessel is made. Because such materials do by 



4 See a similar argument in his Con. tulv. Leg. et Proph. i. 9; 
and sec 39, and note, above. 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



[Book XIL 



time also precede the forms of the things which 
are made from them ; but in singing this is not 
so. For when it is sung, its sound is heard al 
the same time ; seeing there is not first a form- 
less sound, which is afterwards fonned into ,a 
song. For as soon as il shall have first sounded 
it passelh away ; nor canst thou find anything 
of it, which being recalled thou canst by art 
compose. And, therefore, the song is absorbed 
in its own sound, which sound of it is its matter. 
Because this same is formed that it may be a 
tune ; and therefore, as I was saying, the matter 
of the sound is prior to tlie form of the time, 
not before through any power of making it a 
tune; for neither is a sound the composer of 
the tune, but is sent forth from the body and is 
subjected to the soul of the singer, that from it 
he may form a tune. Nor is it first in time, for 
it is given forth together with the tune ; nor first 
in choice, for a sound is not better than a tune, 
since a tune is not merely a sound, but a beau- 
tiful sound. But it is first in origin, because the 
tune is not formed that tt may become a sound, 
but the sound is formed that it may become a tune. 
By this example, let him who is able understand 
that the matter of things was first made, and 
called heaven and earth, because out of it heaven 
and earth were made. Not that it was made first 
in time, because the forms of things give rise to 
time,' but that was formless ; but now, in time, 
it is perceived together with its fonn. Nor yet 
can anything be related concerning that matter, 
■unless as if it were prior in time, while it is con- 
sidered last (because things formed are assuredly 
superior to things formless), and is preceded by 
the Eternity of the Creator, so that there might 
he out of nothing that from which something 
might be made. 



CHAP. XXX. IN THE CIRF^T DIVERSFTY OF OPIN- 
IONS, rr BECOMES AU, IX) UNITE CHARFTY AND 
DIVINE TRUTH. 

41. In this diversity of tnie opinions let Truth 
itself beget concord ; " and may our (Jod have 
mercy upon us, that we may use the law lawf\illy,' 
the end of the commandment, pure charity.' 
And by this if any one asks of me, " Which of 



if Ihnv w«v no moiion of the ipintuBl or corpoml ctkiiut 
bjrihnHiEh ihepRseni ibe future iniEht lucoxd thepui, thi 

were. . Tiaie, ihccclbn, begbi rather fiom the ctcalun.ih^u 



, 183, note, aboYe; and or 



G^nm.™ 



lUTBl JV^y^'}'"'' ■"•"•""' '""1 (W"'""' ' 




















these was the meaning of Thy servant Moses?' 
these were not the utterances of my confessions] 
should I not confess unto Thee, " I know not ; ' 
and yet I know that those opinions are trtw 
with (he exception of those carnal ones concern' 
ing which I have spoken what I thought well 
However, these words of Thy Book alTright not 
those little ones of good hope, treating few of 
high things in a humble fashion, and few things 
in varied ways.' But let all, whom I acknoi^< , 
edge to see and speak the truth in these wordsj i 
love one another, and equally love Thee, oufj 
God, fountain of truth, — if we thirst not fori 
vain things, but for it ; yea, kt us so honoitfi 
this servant of Thine, the dispenser of thiS' 
Scripture, full of Thy Spirit, as to believe thii; 
when Thou revcaledst Thyself to him, and We. 
wrote these things, he intended that which ib 
them chiefly excels both for light of truth anijl , 
fruitfulness of profit, 

CHAP. XXXI. — MOSES IS SUPPaSF.D TO HAVE PER- 
CEIVED WHATEVER OF TRUTH CAN BE DISCOV- 
ERED IN HIS WORDS. 

42, Thus, when one shall say, "He [Moses] 
meant as I do," and another, " Nay, but as 1 
do," I suppose that I am speaking more reli- 
giously when I say, " \Vhy not rather as both, if 
both be true ? " And if there be a third truth, 
or a fourth, and if any one seek any truth alto- 
gether different in those words, why may not he 
he believed to have seen all these, through whom 
one (lod hath tempered the Holy Scriptures to 
the senses of many, about to see therein things 
true but different? I certainly, — and I fear-, 
iessly declare it from my heart, — were I toj 
write anything to have the highest authority,!' 
should prefer so to write, that whatever of trulW 
any one might apprehend concerning these mat-; 
ten, my H-ords should re-echo, rather than that 
I should set down one true opinion so clearly on 
this as that I should exclude the rest, that which 
was false in which could not offend me. There- 
fore am I unwilling, O my God, to be so head- 
strong as not to believe that from Thee this man 
[Moses] hath received so much. He, surely, 
when he wrote those words, perceived and 
thought whatever of truth we have been able 
to discover, yea, and whatever we have not been 
able, nor yet are able, though still it may bej 
found in them. I 

CHAP. XXXII. — FIRST, THE SENSE OF THE WRITER 
IS TO BE IllSCOVERFU, THEN THAT IS TO BE 
BROUGHT OUT WHICH DIVINE TRUIH INTENDED. 

43, Finally, Lord, who art God, and not 
flesh and blood, if man doth see anything less. 



Chap. XXXIL] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



189 



can anything lie hid from "Thy good Spirit," 
who shall " lead me into the land of upright- 
ness," * which Thou Thyself, by those words, 
wert about to reveal to future readers, although 
he through whom they were spoken, amid the 
many interpretations that might have been found, 
fixed on but one ? Which, if it be so, let that 
which he thought on be more exalted than the 
rest. But to us, O Lord, either point out the 
same, or any other true one which may be 
pleasing unto Thee ; so that whether Thou niak- 
est known to us that which Thou didst to that 
man of Thine, or some other by occasion of the 
same words, yet Thou mayest feed us, not error 
deceive us.' Behold, O Lord my God, how 

* Ps. cxHii. 10. 

* Auguatin^ as we have seen (see notes, pp. 65 and 92), was 
(requently addicted to allegorical interpretation, but hie, none the le»s, 
laid stress on the necessity of avoiding obscure and allegorical pas- 
sages when it was necessary to convince the opponent of Christianity 



many things we have written concerning a few 
words, — how many, I beseech ITiee ! What 
strength of ours, what ages would suffice for all 
Thy books after this manner? Permit me, there- 
fore, in these more briefly to confess unto Thee, 
and to select some one true, certain, and good 
sense, that Thou shalt inspire, although many 
senses offer themselves, where many, indeed, 
may ; this being the faith of my confession, that 
if I should say that which Thy minister felt, 
rightly and profitably, this I should strive for ; 
the which if I shall not attain, yet I may say 
that which Thy Truth willed throujgh Its words 
to say unto me, which said also unto him what 
It willed. 



(Df Unit. Eccl. ch. 5). It should also be noted that, however varied 
the meaning deduced from a doubtful Scripture, he ever maintained 
that such meaning must be setcrte fidei eongruam. Compare Dt 
Gen. ad Lit. end of book i. ; and ibid, viii. 4 and 7. See also notes, 
pp. 164 and 178, above. 



BOOK XIII. 



OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD EXPLAINED IN THE CREATION OF THINGS, AND OF THE TRINITY AS 
FOUND IN THE FIRST WORDS OF GENESIS. THE STORY CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF THE 
WORLD (GEN. I.) IS ALLEGORICALLY EXPLAINED, AND HE APPLIES IT TO THOSE THINGS WHICH 
GOD WORKS FOR SANCTIFIED AND BLESSED MA.\. FINALLY, HE MAKES AN END OF THIS WORK, 
HAVING IMPLORED ETERNAL REST FROM GOD. 



CHAP. I. — HE CALLS UPON GOD, AND PROPOSES TO 
HIMSELF TO WORSHIP HIM. 

1. I CALL upon Thee, my God, my mercy, 
who madest me, and who didst not forget me, 
though forgetful of Thee. I call Thee into * my 
soul, which by the desire which Thou inspirest 
in it Thou preparest for Thy reception. Do not 
Thou forsake me calling upon Thee, who didst 
anticipate me before I called, and didst importu- 
nately urge with manifold calls that I should hear 
Thee from afar, and be converted, and call upon 
Thee who calledst me. For Thou, O Lord, hast 
blotted out all my evil deserts, that Thou might- 
est not repay into my hands wherewith I have 
fallen from Thee, and Thou hast anticipated all 
my good deserts, that Thou mightest repay into 
Thy hands wherewith Thou madest me ; because 
before I was, Thou wast, nor was I [anything] 
to which Thou mightest grant being. And yet 
behold, I am, out of Thy goodness, anticipating 
all this which Thou hast made me, and of which 
Thou hast made me. For neither hadst Thou 
stood in need of me, nor am I such a good as to 
be helpful unto Thee,^ my lx)rd and God ; not 
that I may so serve Thee as though Thou wert 
fatigued in working, or lest Thy power may be 
less if lacking my assistance ; nor that, like the 
land, I may so cultivate Thee that Thou would- 
est be uncultivated did I cultivate Thee not; 
but that I may serve and worship Thee, to the 
end that I may have well-being from Thee, from 
whom it is that I am one susceptible of well- 
being. 

CHAP. II. — ALL CREATURES SUBSIST FROM THE 
PLENITUDE OF DIVINE GOODNESS. 

2. For of the plenitude of Thy goodness Thy 
creature subsists, that a good, which could prof- 
it Thee nothing, nor though of Thee was equal 
to Thee, might yet be, since it could be made of 
Thee. For what did heaven and earth, which 

* See i. sec. a, above. 

' Similar views as to God's not having need of us, though He 
created us, and as to our service being for our and not His advantage, 
will be found in bis De Gen. ad Lit. viif. xs; and Con. Adv. Leg. et 
i*ropk. i. 4. 

190 



Thou madest in the beginning, deserve of Thee? 
Let those spiritual and corporeal natures, which 
Thou in Thy wisdom madest, declare what they 
deserve of Thee to depend thereon, — even the 
inchoate and formless, each in its own kind, 
cither spiritual or corporeal, going into excess, 
and into remote unlikeness unto Thee (the spir- 
itual, though formless, more excellent than if it 
were a formed body ; and the corporeal, though 
formless, more excellent than if it were alto- 
gether nothing), and thus they as formless would 
depend upon Thy Word, unless by the same 
Word they were recalled to Thy Unity, and 
endued with form, and from Thee, the one sov- 
ereign Good, were all made very good. How 
have they deserved of Thee, that they should be 
even formless, since they would not be even this 
except from Thee? 

3. How has corporeal matter deserved of 
Thee, to be even invisible and formless,' since it 
were not even this hadst Thou not made it ; and 
therefore since it was not, it could not deserve 
of Thee that it should be made ? Or how could 
the inchoate spiritual creature * deserve of Thee, 
that even it should flow darksomely like the 
deep, — unlike Thee, had it not been by the 
same Word turned to that by Whom it was cre- 
ated, and by Him so enlightened become light, 
although not equally, yet conformably to that 
Form which is equal unto Thee ? For as to a' 
body, to be is not all one with being beautiful, 
for then it could not be deformed ; so also to a 
created spirit, to live is not all one with living 
wisely, for then it would be wise unchangeably. 
But it is good 5 for it always to hold fast unto 
Thee,^ lest, in turning from Thee, it lose that 
light which it hath obtained in turning to Thee, 

3 Oen. i. 2. 

4 In his De Gen. ad Lit, i. ^. he maintains that the spiritual crea- 
ture may have a formless life, since it has its form — its wisdom and 
happiness — by being turned to the Word of God, the ImmutaUe 
Light of Wisclom. 

3 Ps. Ixxiii. 28. 

* Similarly, in his De Civ. Dei, xii. 1, he areues that true bleiis- 
edness is to be attained " by adhering to the Immutable Good, the 
Supreme God." This, indeed, imparts the only true life (see note, 
p. 133, above) ; for, as Origen says {in .S. Jok. li. 7), '* the good man 
ts he who truly exists," and " to be evil and to be wicked are the 
as not to be." See notes, pp. 75 and 151, above. 



Chap. II.] 



THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTIN. 



191 



and relapse into a light resembling the darksome 
deep. For even we ourselves, who in respect 
of the soul are a spiritual creature, having turned 
away from Thee, our light, were in that life 
" sometimes darkness ; " * and do labour amidst 
the remains of our darkness, until in Thy Only 
One we become Thy righteousness, like the 
mountains of God. For we have been Thy 
judgments, which are like the great deep.* 



it 



»i 



CHAP. lU. — GENESIS I. 3, — OF "LIGHT," — HE 
UNDERSTANDS AS TV IS SEEN IN THE SPIRFTUAL 
CREATURE. 

4. But what Thou saidst in the beginning of 
the creation, " Let there be light, and there was 
light," 3 I do not unfitly understand of the spir- 
itual creature ; because there was even then a 
kind of life, which Thou mightest illuminate. 
But as it had not deserved of Thee that it should 
be such a life as could be enlightened, so neither, 
when it already was, hath it deserved of Thee 
that it should be enlightened. For neither could 
its formlessness be pleasing unto Thee, unless it 
became light, — not by merely existing, but by 
beholding the illuminating light, and cleaving 
unto it ; so also, that it lives, and lives happily,* 
it owes to nothing whatsoever but to Thy grace ; 
being converted by. means of a better change 
unto that which can be changed neither into 
better nor into worse ; the which Thou only art 
because Thou only simply art, to whom it is not 
one thing to live, another to live blessedly, since 
Thou art Thyself Thine own Blessedness. 

CHAP. rV. ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN CREATED BY 

THE GRACE OF GOD, AND ARE NOT OF HIM AS 
STANDING IN NEED OF CREATED THINGS. 

5. What, therefore, could there be wanting 
unto Thy good, which Thou Thyself art, although 
these things had either never been, or had re- 
mained formless, — the which Thou madest not 
out of any want, but out of the plenitude